Have you ever said to yourself “I hope that the wrong people take care of my children after I die” or “I hope that I do not receive the type of medical treatment that I want when I become ill”? Or “I hope that when I die, all of my savings and assets go missing, or go to people that I don’t want to receive those savings”?
I didn’t think so.
Do you have a will? Do you have written instructions about what care you should receive in an emergency (in other words, do you want to be resuscitated? Do you want to be placed on life support?) Do you have a plan for your assets when you die? Do you have life insurance? Do you have retirement savings, like an IRA or a 401k?
Is there anyone in your life who can act as an executor of your estate? Does anyone know where all of your bank, credit and asset accounts are located? Do they have the contact information and account numbers?
I learned about two people who died last week. Both of them were much younger than me, and neither one had a will. Now their families have to spend a lot of time and money resolving money and custody issues.
I have a suggestion. If you don’t have a will, and your relatives don’t have written instructions from you about what care you would like in an emergency, and no one knows where all of your financial accounts are, then go make an appointment with an estate attorney. Unless your life goal is “I hope that my money goes to people who I don’t want to receive it”, or “I sure hope that I receive medical treatment that I don’t want”, then you need to be very specific about having your wishes known.
I understand that no one wakes up in the morning and says “I am looking forward to creating a will today”. But the two young people I mentioned who died last week without wills don’t have the chance.