You may be wondering what wills have to do with living debt free. Wills are for when you die, right? True; but here I’m talking about not burdening your relatives with having to incur costs for your funeral and burial. That is a debt they shouldn’t have to pay.
Too many times, clients have walked into my office to request my services because their deceased relative died without a will and everyone’s at a loss. The heirs can’t agree on what to do with the remains of the deceased.
Estate planning is essential, and it’s not only for what we consider well-to-do folks. I can never understand why some people don’t have wills. It doesn’t make any sense to me at all. They know they’re going to die. So far, no one in creation has been immortal, other than the divine beings described in various religions. So mortality is real; it’s a road everyone must travel. Again, why don’t people prepare for it? Why is it that my brothers, sisters, and cousins who look like me die with property and no will?
When you don’t have a will, what happens when you die? The state you lived in has to create and administer an estate on your behalf. For its trouble, New Jersey (or whatever state it is) takes a percentage of the value of your estate. All because you didn’t invest in a will kit off the shelf or pay an attorney $250 to $500 to help you devise a will.
If you want to complete the will yourself, check an office supply store or Amazon.com and purchase Quicken WillMaker or another brand. Suze Orman offers a will kit as well. Or search for “will kit” online and you’ll find many sites that provide them, such as LegalZoom or USLegalForms.com, which has will forms by state. However you do it, get it done.
Now you may be thinking, I don’t have anything, so why should I be worried about a will? Do you have a home? A car? A pension? Furniture? Clothes? A smart phone? A computer? The list goes on and on, and all of those assets have value. If you don’t specify in a will that you want your daughter or son or nephew to get a particular item, or what you want done with your dog or your cat, when you close your eyes for the last time, you’ll be leaving it up to your state executor to decide.
Worse yet—you’ve heard the stories—people seem to lose their minds when a loved one dies. All of a sudden siblings who’ve been living in harmony have problems and don’t speak to one another. Cousins who were fine and in each other’s weddings are suddenly at each other’s throats. Simply because the deceased didn’t leave a will.
You want to have your wishes honored after you close your eyes for the last time—especially something as basic as what to do with your body. Do you want to be cremated? Where do you want to be buried?
Contact Georgette Miller For more information concerning your will.