Saturday, October 21 , 2017, 6:01 pm | Fair 68º

 
 
 
Your Health: A Noozhawk partnership with Cottage Health

Karen Telleen-Lawton: Eenie Meenie Miney Moe Part 1

Dear Karen: The event I have anticipated and dreaded for years is upon us in a few weeks. My folks are still active and relatively astute at 85 and 86. Nevertheless, they are moving to a retirement home that is just now under construction. They’ve lived in their house for over 50 years!

I am grateful that they have decided on their own, and my siblings and I will help them move, of course, but I’m anxious about divvying up fifty years’ worth of accumulation.

Mom has asked us for years to put our names on stuff, but we all felt awkward about it, and now time’s up.

There’s everything from our third grade pottery to a large silk carpet I suspect is quite valuable. How do we do this with three siblings 3,000 miles apart, and still keep speaking to each other?

— Dreading sibling confrontation

Dear Sibling: Congratulations to your parents on their upcoming milestone. You and your siblings are fortunate indeed that your parents are healthy and that they made their own decision. They are leaving under their own power.

The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College says Baby Boomers will eventually inherit $8 trillion in cash, real estate and a whole lot of curios. You’re not alone in your predicament.

Ask your folks about any items they’d like specifically to go to one of you — or someone else.

Since your folks seem pretty prepared, they likely already have wills and perhaps a trust. These should be consulted for any special instructions as to the division of assets.

Aside from specific wishes by your parents, the actually choosing of household items presents challenges that are best solved on the ground.

There are as many opportunities as challenges. If your parents are willing, you might want to spend some time asking them about the provenance of various objects. They will likely appreciate your caring about family heirlooms, keepsakes and momentos.

At the same occasion or a subsequent one, you can assemble an inventory list including this special information. E-bay or Google can be a valuable resource for some ballpark values, if you choose to include that in the list.

Then it’s time to hold the Great Eenie Meenie Miney Moe event.

On the day of the event, realize, remember and keep remembering that your relationships with your siblings are more important than stuff. Agree to try to be your best selves, and forgive each other for inevitable moments if old hurts get in the way.

Money Magazine lists some rules that may help smooth the way on Eenie Meenie Day. In addition to not allowing the transactions to tear siblings apart, they suggest you share with each other what are the top items on your lists.

Then decide on a basic process, such as drawing straws for order and then taking turns. If multiple siblings share a “must have” item, you may want one sibling to pay the others for it, rather than keep it as part of the regular pick.

Or in some cases, if the item can’t be shared or paid for, an alternative is to sell it and split the proceeds among the siblings.

I agree with most of these tips, but used a slightly different process for our own Eenie Meeny Miney Moe event. In a subsequent column I’ll list the tips that worked for us.

— Karen Telleen-Lawton’s column is a mélange of observations spanning sustainability from the environment to finance, economics and justice issues. She is a fee-only financial advisor (www.DecisivePath.com) and a freelance writer (www.CanyonVoices.com). Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



 

Special Reports

Heroin Rising
<p>Lizette Correa shares a moment with her 9-month-old daughter, Layla, outside their Goleta home. Correa is about to graduate from Project Recovery, a program of the Santa Barbara Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse, and is determined to overcome her heroin addiction — for herself and for her daughter. “I look at her and I think ‘I need to be here for her and I need to show her an example, I don’t want her to see me and learn about drugs’,” she says.</p>

In Struggle to Get Clean, and Stay That Way, Young Mother Battles Heroin Addiction

Santa Barbara County sounds alarm as opiate drug use escalates, spreads into mainstream population
Safety Net Series
<p>Charles Condelos, a retired banker, regularly goes to the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics for his primary care and to renew his prescription for back pain medication. He says Dr. Charles Fenzi, who was treating him that day at the Westside Clinic, and Dr. Susan Lawton are some of the best people he’s ever met.</p>

Safety Net: Patchwork of Clinics Struggles to Keep Santa Barbara County Healthy

Clinics that take all comers a lifeline for low-income patients, with new health-care law about to feed even more into overburdened system. First in a series
Prescription for Abuse
<p>American Medical Response emergency medical technicians arrive at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with little time to spare for victims of prescription drug overdoses.</p>

Quiet Epidemic of Prescription Drug Abuse Taking a Toll on Santa Barbara County

Evidence of addiction shows an alarming escalation, Noozhawk finds in Prescription for Abuse special report
Mental Health
<p>Rich Detty and his late wife knew something was wrong with their son, Cliff, but were repeatedly stymied in their attempts to get him help from the mental health system. Cliff Detty, 46, died in April while in restraints at Santa Barbara County’s Psychiatric Health Facility.</p>

While Son Struggled with Mental Illness, Father Fought His Own Battle

Cliff Detty's death reveals scope, limitations of seemingly impenetrable mental health system. First in a series