A few of our friends don't have wills. They claim several 'reasons': We don't have the extra money to pay for the lawyer. We don't know who to give what to. And my favorite excuse: We don't need one yet because we have lots of time.
So.... let me ask you.... when do you figger you'll die? Can you plan that? 'Cause if you know how to do that, I want in!
Ok, nobody knows when they're going to die. Let's get real here! If we actually knew, we'd all live this life really differently, wouldn't we? So therefore, since we don't know the time and minute we're going to kick the proverbial bucket, we don't have a minute to lose to sort out our financial affairs, do we?
Now, we work all our lives collecting all this stuff, not to mention money and investments and you don't know who you want to get it when you're done with it? I don't think so!
Let me ask you, do you want it all auctioned off and sold to strangers? My uncle sold off my grandmother's stuff and man! I was helpless watching all those people I didn't know touching her stuff and going through the family photo albums. Nuts! Do you want that to happen with your stuff? After all, you worked overtime to get it all. You ate hamburger instead of steak to save the money to get that stuff. You patched the pants and hid the holes in your socks to get that stuff. Is it all worth such a small amount to you that you'd just have strangers load it all up in a dumpster and cart it off?
You don't have the money to pay the lawyer? Well, do your kids have enough money to pay lawyers for several years to come as they wade through the red tape that the government considers necessary to settle your estate? What, it's not worth the price of a week's groceries to make sure your kids are taken care of and don't have a mess to sort out?
Dick's ex wife passed in 2006 and her estate is still not settled because she didn't have a will. According to her surviving neice, they've spent tens of thousands so far and the woman only had nominal assets! (Mostly just a piece of real estate.) Her house sat all sad and empty for a long time. Nobody could love it or use it and it was just a millstone around the survivor's necks.
Is that what you want to leave behind?
Furthermore, a co-worker of Dick's revealed that he and his wife of many years, did not have a will! Dick gave him a serious talking to and subsequently, they have an appointment this week for just that. They have a pet that is their baby, just like we all have a pet we spoil and love. Just think about the poor thing's fate if they don't have that pre planned and set in stone?
I don't want to be the heavy here, but this post is serious stuff. If you don't have a will, your house is not in order and you should be ashamed of yourself! Get out there the first of the week and make the appointment with a lawyer. Talk to your spouse and get it all figured out in your mind. Before you go, make lists of who gets what and please don't think the kids will be able to divvy it up between them. We've all seen it happen when mom or dad finally leaves this world and somebody's mad because sister got the Christmas turkey platter and mom always promised it to her.
If you've got lots of bank accounts and different investments, make a list. How is anybody supposed to know what you have after your dead and gone? Do you think the bank manager reads the obits every day and calls the families to say: 'Hey! My sympathies. Did you know your dad had a bank account here?'
Somebody I knew once had labels on everything with the recipients name on it. That would be swell, wouldn't it?
Whatever you do, please do everything you can to make sure you don't leave a mess when you're gone.
.... And if somebody says to you: 'When you're done with that, can I have it?' My advice is: Don't leave them anything! People who love you just want you around, not your stuff!
Well, thanks for listening to me rant on this one. We'll do something fun next time, I promise. Yak soon....