Debt Reduction

Wills, estate planning, etc.

I think that everyone needs a friend who is a lawyer. Maybe you don’t talk to this person on a regular basis or they come over on Tuesday nights to play poker. A lawyer friend is just a nice asset – I’ve used my lawyer friend in Northfield on a couple of occasions – mostly when I’m writing fiction. My lawyer friend – I’ll be honest, I call him Brother Carl, because when we got to know each other, he was like a big brother to me – is used to my odd questions like “OK, Carl, if you were in court and a defendant did this, what would happen?” (BTW – Carl mostly handles family law … but he’s paid his dues and knows the court system in general.)

Well, BC is holding a wills, estates, health care directives, etc., seminar in the next couple months and hubby and I are thinking about attending. The catch? It’s going to be $50 per couple and I’ve shot BC an email to determine what we’ll get out of this seminar. Is it just the discussion of such issues or will we actually get to put pen to paper and draft something? Hubby helpfully pointed out that if we need information on wills, estates, etc., we can just find that online. But I’m hopeful that the seminar will be something more …

I don’t know – this whole conversation with my husband just reinforces how much I don’t know about wills. I just went on vacation – say that something would have happened while I was gone and I was headed to that happy hunting ground in the sky … the night before I left, I verbally gave a couple of directives to Hubby – my cousin Trix was to get my favorite quilt because it belonged to our grandparents, Deb got first dibs on my CDs, books and mementos to the Urban Family … but that so obviously does not hold water? And even if I would have put it in writing? What’s the validity of that?

So I’ll let you know what BC says. But I leave you with these questions, because my head has rumbling thoughts … how much of wills, directives, etc., can a person do on their own? Also, what kind of professional people/relationships should a person have in their lives? Should a person have a professional relationship with a lawyer? Should a person have a professional relationship with a financial planner? How much can a person do on their own? How much SHOULD a person do on their own?

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3 thoughts on “Wills, estate planning, etc.

  1. My personal feeling is that a will done on your own is better than no will. Plenty of software products, etc. Most people don’t have a will at all. But beyond that, I personally feel it’s the cheap route. We did the will/trust thing with a lawyer who is our friend and she pointed out so much to us that I realized our “Software Wills” were lacking. & we are talking about our KIDS here. For that, I don’t recommend going cheap.

    Because we have a lawyer friend I think we were more willing to pay to get all this stuff done, etc., but I highly recommend anyone with kids, or any assets to speak of, to pay a professional.

    We actually have a lot of lawyer neighbor friends too (they practice in various areas).

    Lawyers and financial planners are always good to know personally, since there are so many BAD ones out there. You can say that for any field, but these are areas that you often only get once chance to get it done right.

  2. good area to address. it is a mess for the family if you lay down on the couch and do not get up. really bad if there is not a joint checking account and the person left has little cash to live on.
    probate is a jungle…….

  3. I’ve been will-less my entire life. To be honest, I don’t think they are necessary if you trust the people you are leaving behind. Advance directives are handy for the ambulance crew.

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