Valentine’s Day is next week, so I wanted to take this opportunity to remind you that…one day, we’ll all be dead! (Too dark? Eh, let’s press on.) Have you ever known someone with strife in their family around inheritance? The deceased may not have done a great job with the estate planning.
If you love your family, get a will.
Myth: wills are only for people with kids. Truth: People with kids (and perhaps pets) definitely do need a will (to name a guardian) but so do other people.
Myth: only rich people need a will. Truth: Lots of people of modest means have possessions that should go to certain people, and want to bequeath the financial assets they do have in certain ways.
Look, if you are single, don’t have kids, and are totally broke, fine, you can get a will later if those things change. But for everyone else, it’s a boring thing that is really good to have handled. If you have any complications to your situation, you might need a lawyer, but lots of people can totally meet their needs with a simple, free online form. In New York where I live you have to print out the will and sign it, and then have two witnesses sign it within 30 days and provide their addresses. Each state does things their own way, so check out the requirements for where you live.
Oh, and one more boring thing – if you have any investment accounts or life insurance policies, make sure you’ve named beneficiaries to each of those. If you have a bunch of accounts to check on, just tackle one each week until you’re done. If you’ve worked so hard to save and invest, don’t skip that last step and make sure the money goes where it should.
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[…] just unavailable for a while like if you have an injury and are in the hospital for a time (have a will, have a health care proxy, have beneficiaries named on all your accounts, consider whether bills […]