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Do’s and Don’ts: Your Will

Your journey need ends. Life has a way of changing things in incredible ways. ~ A. Volkov

I’m just going to say this out loud ~ a whole lot of people mess up their wills. They end up tainting how others see them by how they behave in the here and now. How about if we go over some basics on this so you’re not one of the people whose family ends up in family therapy over this topic. Do you know there are lawyers and therapists who specialize in just this topic? So, before you end up funding an attorney’s retirement after you’ve passed away, let’s review.

Do’s

Do make a will. Do think about where you want your assets to go and what will happen with your stuff. Depending on where you live you might need to include an attorney in this process.
Do give consideration to what might happen without a will and if that’s what you’d prefer.
Do remember that you can put stipulations on your distributions if you feel that a grandchild is perhaps not always thinking about academics first or if you’re concerned they will spend it all at once but please also remember at some point you’ll have to let go of the control
Make sure if you’re under the impression someone will manage a task for you that they are willing to do so.
Do, for the love of mike, tell people where that will is!!!

Don’ts

Go around telling people they are ‘in’ or ‘out’ of your will; this is a document which can hopefully reflect well of you. It is not a weapon.
Unless you’re a fan of mysteries be sure to explain to someone ~ likely your executor or a family member ~ what your thinking is. Wills aren’t the place to reveal that you have an adult child you’ve never told anyone about. Losing you is hard enough so let’s not make it harder by throwing in a mystery.
Put it under your bed. There was a large fire recently in an apartment building that raged for hours. It was so hot that documents inside “fire proof” boxes ignited and burned…inside the boxes. Put it somewhere safe and secure. Your attorney might be willing to hold it or other responsible party.
Have multiple wills with conflicting instructions. If you revise your will, make sure other copies are disposed of.

I realize there are many people who feel that by making a will they are tempting fate; not true. Making a will is an act of love for those whom you care about. If you have children, a will is designed to protect them and their wellbeing. Some people feel they don’t want to write out a will because they know their spouse will be next in line for their estate; this is a lovely idea unless you and your spouse die at the same time or nearly so.

There are some tricky emotions that might come up as you move through the process of writing out a will, possibly meeting with an attorney to discuss otherwise private wishes, but you can do it and in the long run you’ll be grateful you did.

Wishing you the best for your week!

~ Lisa

 

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