Over the years, I've come to accept Life happens. And when it does we all have to find time to take care of life’s business. What better time than the top of the New Year to take some corrective and preventative actions to make sure when life, or death, happens we’re ready. The beginning of a new year is a time when many Americans resolve to do better and get healthy, right? We resolve to improve 1. our financial health (we resolve to save more), 2. our physical health (we resolve to change our diets and exercise more), and 3. our emotional health (we resolve to get rid of the negative people in our lives, tell loved ones we love them more often, and take more vacations)! So, why not also resolve to ensure the health of our ownership in real property and personal assets? Well you should, and here are 10 reasons why…
10. You own stuff. You never thought about protecting your estate and your ownership in real property and other assets, but you own stuff and don’t want to lose it.
9. Special Gifts. You want to leave a legacy or gift to your favorite charity, organization or non-family member.
8. It’s been more than three years. You have a will, but it has been more than three years since you last reviewed it and boy, things have surely changed in your life.
7. You want to make your own final arrangements. You don’t have a will, you are adamant about your burial plans, and you don’t want to leave the decision of your final resting place up to your sister. Well without a will expressing your intentions, sis might have the last say.
6. You were single when you created your current will. You have a will, but you were single when it was created. Now you’re married, congrats, and your spouse gets nothing under your current will if you die.
5. You were married when you created your current will. You already have a will, but you were married when it was created and now you’re divorced. Sorry. Under your current will your ex gets everything! You might want to fix that.
4. You didn’t have any children when you created your current will. You already have a will, but you were childless when it was created and now you have a child or children who aren’t provided for under your current will.
3. You need to make provisions for your non-minor child. You will need to provide for your teenage child’s needs far beyond high school, but you want to avoid giving him or her a lump sum of money to squander.
2. You want to spare your family the kind of heartache suffered in the Terry Schiavo and Marlise Munoz cases. You want to make medical decisions for yourself in the unfortunate event of your incapacity and don’t want doctors or the law making a difficult situation worse for your family. Planning your estate can help accomplish this goal.
1. You simply want to protect your loved ones. You have a job, a spouse, children (grandchildren), a car and a house, but you don’t have a will. Without a will your family may not inherit all of the real property and assets that make up the estate you’ve worked so hard to provide. Don’t trust that the law will fairly distribute your estate among your surviving heirs without a will.
Now that you’re convinced, go ahead make planning your estate one of your New Year’s Resolutions for 2015.
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