Do you have a will? Life Insurance? Please Read!

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by HennysMom, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. HennysMom

    HennysMom Keeper of the Tiara

    Okay - I posted this info in another post, but I want it to have its own post because it got me to thinking about this and how many people do NOT have wills. You NEED TO HAVE ONE. I know its not something people want to think about, but trust me - you dont want to leave your family in a situation where they get blindsided - like another poster is going through, unfortunately. I've been through too many deaths and seen this happen so many times, its just tragic. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE read below and if you have any questions - call a lawyer - they will give free advice most of the time over the phone - or look up the laws in your state online - its out there for free if you just look.


    The biggest mistake people make is not leaving a will. If a parent doesnt leave a will with specific instructions on who gets what - siblings (half or not) are entitled to said estate in equal parts/shares regardless of what a parent promised before death - even if your mother or father is directly the next of kin and in line to inherit all of the items/property - all children must sign over their rights to everything so a husband/wife can have said property (we just did this with my father as he left no will). When you get some bad apples - this can happen (siblings can file lawsuits to go for the property - and yes, they can and do win!), which is why you need a lawyer - it can be fought however if one parent is still alive, because techically it should all go to the surviving parent and they can divide it as they see's fit - but not until you get the lawyer and all the paperwork is done.


    MAKE UP A WILL NOW -

    it can be just handwritten or typed - it doesnt have to be done up by a professional / lawyer. It just has to be witnessed by 2 people (other than family) and not even notarized (but it makes it better if it is).

    Then make 3 copies - *you of course, have a copy as well, so that makes 4*

    give 1 to the person that will be your Personal Representative (what they used to call your Executor/Executrix)

    put one in your safe or safety deposit box -

    the last copy you give to your spouse/SO/person you trust (someone that is not PR) so that they also have a copy of your will.

    This way you have 3 undisputable copies of your will in 3 different places. You need to let someone know where your key is to your Safety Deposit box and/or the combo to your safe if you keep it in your house (and only someone you can trust obviously) so if something happens to you - they can get to your will and other papers (life insurance for example).

    Be sure if you have underage children - you have provisions in there for them and a gaurdianship for said children (think if you and your spouse should perish together) who will take care of your children? It is NOT automatic that they go to the next relative btw - the state will interfere and come in.....trust me. You NEED TO HAVE PROVISIONAL CARE IN YOUR WILL. Do not take it lightly, think of someone who will care for your child until and past the age of 18 (think college and funding for those college years, i.e., trust funds at certain ages, how things will be paid for etc.)

    It is better to be safe than sorry. There are legal wills out there online for FREE - its how we did ours - and ours was done up by a lawyer, but I found it and retyped it, changed what I wanted, and what I didnt, and POOF! I have a legal will with all the hoopla wording for the State of Virginia and I've had it signed and notarized. It would have cost me and my hubby $600.00 to have it done, but searching online does wonders and I found it - couldn't cut and paste it, so I had to print it out and retype it myself. No biggie though, I saved alot of money!

    ALSO - if you have small children - GET WHOLE LIFE INSURANCE POLICIES NOW FOR THEM! A 100K life insurance policy on a child even 10 years old right now costs about $300.00 a year and goes through the age of 99! Your child can carry it for the rest of their life - it NEVER CHANGES - the price will NEVER CHANGE if you or they never let it lapse! It will be the best investment you can get your child - even better than college education - trust me! Too many people try to get life insurance later in life - when its too late - and they cant due to health issues - or if they do get it, it ends up costing them hundreds of $$'s a month! DO IT WHILE THEY ARE YOUNG! A whole life policy earns money - and interest.

    INVEST in your children....it sounds scary and morbid for some, I know - but I'd much rather purchase life insurance on my child that pay a monthly check to a funeral home and be reminded every month. I'm going to be reminded as it is for the rest of my life should I lose either of my children. (God forbid).

    When they are adults - if you so choose - they can take over the policy's - at the same rate at what you paid for them when you took it out! So when you are long and gone - and they are in their 50's/60's/70's and are starting to ail - they wont have to worry about getting life insurance - they will already have it - thanks to Mom and Dad's smart and loving choice when they were young.

    A very loving thing to do....


    God Bless you all...

    Deb
     
  2. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

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    I'm paying on a life insurance policy my dad started for me when I was a teenager. He'd lost his life insurance and was too old & had too many health issues to get a decent policy. So he got each of us kids one to follow us all our lives, and paid the premium until he died. I took it over then. He wanted us to benefit from his experiences. Seems like a good policy so I'll keep it; only costs $14 per month and I remember Daddy every time I pay it.



    Edited to add: DH's New Year's Resolution is for us to get a living will and all that other legal stuff in place ASAP.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008
  3. hoosier

    hoosier Chillin' With My Peeps

    You are right about needing a will.

    Laws vary from state to state. In Indiana, since we have no children, my husband's parents would inherit half of everything he owns. (unless this has been changed since we looked into it)
     
  4. skirbo

    skirbo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hennysmom, I think it's great that you realize the importance of a will, but handwritten documents and even self done documents are not a safe way to go. By telling someone that all they have to do is write up what they want and have it witnessed by two people, you are giving legal advice to people about how to write a valid will and in many cases and many states, this WOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED A VALID WILL.

    Please folks, a will is very important, yes. But even a kit for your state that you buy at an office supply store is better than writing one up by yourself. Having one done by an attorney is not expensive (unless you have a huge estate) and makes sure that everything, including the 'self proving language' is up to date and deals properly with everything.

    Sarah
     
  5. skirbo

    skirbo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:The living will requires very specific language in order to be valid and effective. If it's not done entirely correctly, the doctors and hospitals can ignore it. Your well meaning relatives can have it overturned. Be safe and have an attorney do one for you.

    If you had one done several years ago, check with an attorney to see if it needs updating. The required language changes every few years.

    Sarah
     
  6. You also need a medical power of attorney in case something happens and you cannot say just what kind of treatment you want. I keep a copy of everything in a Ziploc bag in my fridge under the crisper boxes. If the house burns, the fridge probably won't, Strange, but that me. marrie
     
  7. HennysMom

    HennysMom Keeper of the Tiara

    Quote:Sarah,

    It varies from state to state - and in VA - you can do a handwritten will and it will uphold in a court of law so long as it is witnessed and notarized, which is why I said a notarized one is best. I have friends who are lawyers and have gone over ours with a fine-tooth comb and prior to having ours typed (and getting the copy I have) ours were hand written. A living will - doesnt have to be specific as you state and no doctor can overturn a living will. Are you referring to a Living Directive by chance? THAT is someting entirely different - that is a form you can get from ANY hospital or again, online - and one that pertains to your state and it has your medical directives in it. You can pick and choose what you want done medically or not done - the choice is yours and it cannot be overturned by anyone - family or doctors - or outside sources, once signed by you and witnesses. Its exactly why they have them - the Terri Schiavo case is what caused them to be on the forefront.

    Its also why I said to call a lawyer - first and foremost - to get any and all advice or to look up statutes for your state online. The laws pertaining to estates and wills are online.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008
  8. ksacres

    ksacres At Your Service

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    Where there's a will, there's a way.
     
  9. WriterofWords

    WriterofWords Has Fainting Chickens

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    Most states accept a written, witnessed, notarized will. I've written a lot them for people using the same legal software a lawyer uses. I stress to people though if you have children or large estates especially, I will help them, BUT., I want them to at least speak to the free legal aid dept. if they don't have the money for a lawyer. Too many people think you absolutely have to have a lawyer write a will, living will, a DNR, so they never have it done and hope they don't have an accident. It's important that you update it regularly also, when you add family members, children, unexpected deaths, etc. Your will won't stand up to Well she left it all to my brother but he died and the will wasn't changed and I was supposed to get it.
    Write it, update it regularly, make sure at least 3 people know where it is, and don't surprise your personal representative, make sure they know it's them.
     
  10. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

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    My dh was killed when I was 7 months pregnant with our first child. We had been married 2 years at the time and had been together for 7. Before the "accident" we had an appointment with the lawyer to draw up a will but had not done it yet. My DH has been gone for 3 1/2 years now and I am still fighting for my son's estate and my own. Not having a will with his wants has made the worst time of my life even more miserable (if that is possible) and even by the time it is all settled by the court half the money will be gone from lawyer fees. Keep in mind most of the money in question was mine to begin with. I bought our home and put it in him name since my dh had better credit, and our money was mostly in our joint accounts. I thought that there were laws to protect the wife and child but it is not nearly that simple. All I can say from experience is if you love someone get a will ASAP.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008

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