Yesterday I was up to my eyebrows in getting stuff done, and pretty much collapsed afterward. So I’m improvising here. Hopefully this may be useful to other people. If only as a Bad Example to take a lesson from.
Taxes are a headache. I think we can all agree on that. What’s worse is when they’re not even your taxes.
You find all kinds of things when you have to take over someone else’s paperwork. Many of them things you really, really never wanted to know about. Without going into personal details, I’m going to hit a few things that people may want to think about In Case of Unexpected Responsibilities.
First, IDs. If you go to a tax preparer for someone else’s stuff, along with other legal paperwork that essentially says “I have seen an attorney with X and have X’s permission to do this,” they’re also going to want a photo ID from the person you’re doing the stuff for.
…This can be an unpleasant surprise when the Department of Motor Vehicles demanded X’s driver’s license back months ago because X was medically no longer fit to drive. And if X is currently in no condition to get any other ID, well. You have a Problem.
Second, withholding. If someone didn’t set that up in advance, you’ll have a devil of a time fixing it later. And – this is the really tricky part – because of the change in living circumstances for someone moving into a care facility, their taxable income can actually go up. To the point they jump into the bracket where the IRS starts getting cranky about not getting part of their taxes during the year. *Headdesks* I’m going to see what I can do about that for next year, which is going to take oh so many phonecalls….
Third, and this relates to the above, no matter how many things you get done and out of the way, people will be demanding why you haven’t also done W, Y, and Z already. The honest claim that you didn’t even realize these existed, much less were supposed to be your problem, will cut no ice with anyone. Personally I’ve been at this five months straight and every time we think we can take a breather more comes up. Next week will, among other things, include pre-planning stuff with a funeral home because someone called us at 1:30 in the morning last week with “oh, there’s a health crisis and you don’t have this on record yet, you’d better do that, by the way I’m on my way out the door….”
Sometimes I just hate people.
(Watched The Meg this afternoon after we got that set of taxes officially done. Shark movie seemed appropriate.)
Ahem. Anyway. So. These are some details people may want to think about for your relatives. Or yourself, so your nearest and dearest don’t end up run off their feet for potentially years trying to clean up everything!