Thursday, April 16, 2015

Why Is a Will Important? - Our point of view

   Earlier this week we talked about 2 important documents that all couples should have,  A durable Power of Attorney (for finances) and one for Health Care.   This time, we want to talk about the importance of a Will.  
    It doesn't matter how young or old you are. Just think about it. If you travel a lot or just drive to work a short distance, anything can happen. Not saying it will, but it's good to be prepared. When my parents passed, they had a will. They put the house in a trust (more on that another time). They had some annuities to ensure that the other was taken care of if the other passed first. 
  We learned a LOT from seeing how organized my (Rob) dad was in planning and it made it much easier. The article below was written by trusts-estates.lawyers.com, and provide you with good information. 
  DON'T PUT IT OFF- Wills can be between $500 and $1000 or more. Of course, you can always go on-line and try and figure it out, but we felt much more comfortable going with our attorney friend Stefanie. 
   PROVISIONS FOR PETS - In the will, or in another document, you can make provisions for pets that survive you. We are making a stipulation that allows for any funds to take care of the dogs, and who takes them. Of course, we cleared it first with them. It's really important to think about. 
    BTW- If you missed the previous blog,a durable power of attorney gives you and your partner the authority to manage each other’s finances if one of you becomes incapacitated. A power of attorney for health care, sometimes referred to as a health care proxy, gives you the right to make medical decisions on your partner’s behalf if he or she is unable to do so. 
   Below is the article about why a Will is important.  - Rob and Tom
   
Why Is a Will Important?
FROM: http://trusts-estates.lawyers.com 

If you own property and assets, you may want to have a will. That way you, rather than your state government, can decide who gets your property and assets when you die. In most cases, wills are written legal documents, but some states do recognize other types of wills. The legal requirements of each state can vary, so it’s essential that your will is drafted and executed properly.

A Will Must Meet All Legal Requirements

Most wills are formal documents that instruct how money and property should be distributed to each person named as an heir. For a will to be valid, you usually need to have one or two people witness you signing the will and then sign it themselves. In some states, however, wills that are handwritten or simply spoken can be legally enforceable, too. Video wills are increasing in popularity but, given that this is a relatively new development, your state’s law may not recognize a video as a legal will.

Your Will Does More than Name Heirs

The main reason for having a will is to allocate your property to heirs in any way you like. But there are other things you can include such as funeral arrangements, legal guardians for your minor children, and who should serve as executor of your will or trustee of any trusts you create.

A Will Prevents Intestate Succession

When you die without a will, state laws known as “intestate succession laws” will decide which family members will inherit your estate and in what proportion. In most states, your spouse and children take priority under intestate succession. If you want other people to inherit some of your property, or if you want to leave everything to your spouse and children, but in different proportions than your state’s law provides for, a will is one of the best ways to ensure that the state won’t make that decision for you.

A Will May Eliminate Family Conflict

The division of an estate after death comes with many emotions. The slightest differences can result in hurt feeling and recriminations. As divorce becomes more complex and blended families more common, dividing assets has become even more complicated. A typical situation is when you’re in a second marriage and have children from your first marriage. In this case, allocating your property purposefully between your second spouse and your children can give you peace of mind and prevent your family from fighting over your possessions.

A Trusts and Estates Lawyer Can Help

The law surrounding creation of a will is complicated. Plus, the facts of each case are unique. This article provides a brief, general introduction to the topic. For more detailed, specific information, please contact a trusts and estates lawyer.
SOURCE: http://trusts-estates.lawyers.com/wills-probate/why-is-a-will-important.html

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

Great Books by our friends

Great Books by our friends
Check out these great books (yeah, Rob's are in there, too)

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next

Podcast of Rob's 50 min. interview on Paranormal Filler Radio 7/13/14