So you might not have a house, car, 2.5 kids, or a diverse investment portfolio. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get your affairs in order. Being an adult is more than paying bills on time and getting to make executive decisions like whether or not to have just wine for dinner. It’s about making sure that your bases are covered, no matter what.
Regardless of how much money you have (or don’t have, for that matter), whether you’ve got assets, or how uncomfortable thinking about death makes you, there’s no excuse not to get your act together.
Pick a Will, Any Will
Granted, it’s a good idea to get the help of a pro but lawyers aren’t cheap and budgets don’t always have a lot of wiggle room. Ideally, you’ll sit down with an experienced lawyer (it’s best to find someone who specializes in this sort of thing) but if you’re trying to keep costs down, start with a template. Easily available online, templates allow you to understand what’s needed to draft a will. Once you’ve put it together, contact a pro who will have a look and make sure that everything checks out. It’s not totally free but you can’t put a price tag on peace of mind.
If you don’t have a Will we recommend Willful.co to put together an affordable legal will.
Name an Executor
If you haven’t named an executor, the law rules supreme in terms of settling your estate. For instance, if you die without a will, your legal next of kin is in charge of handling your affairs. So who’s the next of kin? Well, the list ranks spouse first, followed by children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, father or mother, siblings…. The list goes on. Maybe you don’t want your parents tasked with this unimaginable burden in the very, very unlikely event that they outlive you. Or you don’t trust your sister to get things right. Either way, it’s best to name an executor that you know will be up for the job.
Being an adult is more than paying bills on time and getting to make executive decisions like whether or not to have just wine for dinner.
Power of Attorney and Living Wills
Think of someone having power of attorney being like an executor while you’re still alive. If you’re in any way incapable of making your own decisions, the person who you’ve given Power of Attorney to will be in the position to call the shots on your behalf. Part of the Power of Attorney document that you draft should include a Living Will which outlines care and treatment wishes so that there’s nothing left to chance. Emotions run high during times of stress, it’s best to be crystal clear with your directives in order to save your loved ones a whole lot of misery.
Have the Conversations
All of the preparation in the world won’t be of much help if no one knows about it. Take some times to talk to your family and friends about your wishes and let them know where you stand. Not the most cheerful conversation to have but you’d be amazed at how liberating it feels to get it all out in the open. If anything, you might inspire others to follow suit.
We’re here for you. Contact us whenever you’d like, we’d be happy to chat or answer any questions you might have about the importance of pre-planning.