Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Updated wills are priceless

My husband and I updated our wills today. Signed, witnessed and notarized. It's official.

I wanted a new will for Christmas. In 2010, we had a baby and moved to another state. Either one of those is reason enough to update your documents. Both in the same year, made it a necessity.

I know a lot of folks don't like to think about their death, but it's important. You love your family, so take steps while you are alive to make sure everything is in order in case you become incapacitated or worse die. 

Parents with children need to outline who becomes guardian of their children when they die. Google your state's policy on what happens to orphaned children. Not pretty. If you don't have a will outlining your wishes, your child could spend time in foster care as a ward of the state as a judge decides his fate. Do you want that?

We are on good terms with our family and it was somewhat comical the tone and direction of some of the conversations regarding the baby's guardian. Oh my! Writing it down will avoid fights.

Take time to contact a lawyer to update your legal documents — a will, power of attorney and your health care directives (whether you want life prolonging treatment or not). If you cannot afford a lawyer, investigate one of the online services or a software program to create a will.

At minimum, talk to your family about your wishes. It can be a tough conversation, but it is necessary. Everyone will be thankful that you did.

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