Death happens whether we like it or not and having “the talk” about your future death is kind of like voodoo. It can feel like “if you talk about it than it will happen”.
Let’s all be realistic, it’s going to happen!! Hopefully not anytime soon.
If you do not have a will, life insurance, or savings, your family may need to establish a gofundme account or do car washes to fund your burial. Please don’t do this to them. Do you really want your grieving family doing this?
Your surviving loved ones may also need to go to court to establish where your children should be placed, how your assets should be divided, or put someone in place to handle what you left behind. This costs THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS AND TAKES YEARS IN COURT. Again, PLEASE don’t do this. My children had to appear before a judge and it was horrible. Their father died and here they are in court telling a judge they agree to have their mother be their guardian….ugh.
TRUST ME when I say you are saving your loved ones from a HUGE amount of extra grief by taking care of your estate TODAY.
Even if you feel as though you have nothing to leave behind, no assets of any real value, you would be surprised when you start the estate process.
When you die without a will you no longer have control, nor do your loved ones…the COURTS DO. This is called “intestate” and the State will decide for you. It is very, VERY expensive getting it all worked out. And no, your parents (or any other family member) can’t just go down to the court and say “I’ll take it from here we will figure it out”. It’s in the courts hands.
If you die unexpectedly and are not prepared, every account you have could be frozen and not accessible without proper paperwork for those left behind…this includes even the littlest of things. It’s awful and time consuming for survivors.
When my husband died our AT&T cell phone bill was in his name–no big deal, right? I needed to shut off his number so I wouldn’t be billed continuously and even walking into the store I was greeted with “I’m going to need a death certificate”. Well, guess what? I had to wait weeks for that!! I didn’t want to be charged for a month of service, but these companies don’t care. It’s policy.
I cannot stress enough to everyone I meet that they should write down their wishes and sign it. Then, re-sign that paper and date it every 6 months until they can write up an official legal document or create a trust.
Today we have the internet and there are countless online, free documents or websites that will walk you through creating a will in as little as 15 minutes.
Literally, in 15 minutes you could save your family the hassle of dealing with your property, assets, debt, and most importantly your children.
Now, to make it easier for you I’ll give you a few things to consider before clicking on the websites, because these items are important and it’s information you need to gather.
1. If you become unable to make decisions for yourself, who would you like to make decisions for you?
2. If you become unable to care for your children, who would you like to take custody?
3. Buried or cremated? You will need to list where to be buried and if cremated who will receive remains.
4. What do you own (real estate), how much cash do you have on hand (bank accounts), what are your assets (cars, boats), retirement accounts, insurance information.
5. What are your concerns if you should die? Example: Custody issues, where certain items you own should go to certain people, what age your children should receive any inheritance
Here is a great article that tells you 6 important items that should be in your estate: Click here to read the article
Also, a little piece of advice:
If you have a protected password on any device you may want accessed by someone, you need to share it NOW. This would include your cellphone (or laptop or other electronic device). Not even the FBI can access an iPhone that is locked with a password so everything will be gone if you don’t share this information.
So get busy getting smart about your future! Check out these companies below and see what they can offer you!
*all images from google