Well this is a happy post! But one way or another sooner or hopefully later yo are going to get dead. Now, manly men plan for this some so they do not leave a hell of a mess for their survivors. Here are a couple of ideas.
First, once you get past 21 years of age you should have a will. Yeah, we know, wills are a pain, they can be expensive (if you have a lot of assets or a complicated life). But for most of us especially when you are below 35 a will is pretty simple to make out or have made for you (best idea).
Many folks will question why have one and then will also ask, ‘…what will it do for me?” Well for those dummy’s it is NOT for THEM but for the people they leave behind. A while back I lost a friend who had no will. The guy had dozens of business partners in several businesses, investments and other stuff. Had he a will his kids and some grand kids who he really loved would have benefited from a clarification of who gets what or how it is to be accounted for.
But no, the big dummy had no such a thing. I know why and it was simple, he just could not accept the idea of his death and the subsequent responsibility of planning for it. Sounds silly but many of us are that way.
His attorneys after looking at this zoo simply told his survivors, just allow his various business partners to take the various businesses because not to do so would be a decade or two in courts cleaning up the mess. It got worse! Read on.
Then the state stepped in to manage what was left because if you don’t have a will of some type–the state can and probably will indeed step in and make sure things go right (the state gets to decide what is “right”) and that then puts the state (people who do not know you or you they) in deciding who gets what and when. It is called probate and you do not want in to it or a probate court. Oh yeah, the state also gets to decide who gets your minor kids if you have any don’t have a wife (let’s say she dies with you in an accident) or ex wife at the time delegating who you want to take care of your children (vice versa for women but this is a man’s blog). So if you want strangers deciding who gets the car, savings, house and kids, NOT having a will is a good way to go!
A will can be pretty simply made by those who have little in the way of assets (not asses but assets–pay attention!). Those forms (we advise against it) are on line–and you do need to make sure of certain legal wording for your state and then get the thing notarized and copied and leave one copy sealed up with a person you totally trust.
Folks with more stuff like the average American should work up what they want to leave to whom and then if they must, and we advise against it, use an online form (be careful and make sure it is legal in YOUR STATE).
The best route is to get your stuff figured out and see an attorney bite the bullet and pay the money and get their more than likely boilerplate form with your stuff and any relationship quirks, powers of attorney, executor and details in it–then you can trust it is probably legal in your state.
Also you should have some kind of plan if you get so screwed up you are going to be in a hospital or medical rest home plugged into a bunch of “keep you alive” stuff forever and you have no hope of awaking again. Typically this is called a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) form. There are other terms for this as well as types of conditions–see an attorney for this.
This (DNR) plan might state something like two medical doctors must agree you are terminal and after a certain amount of days they can pull the plug and allow you to pass and not destroy your family with $4,000 a day medical bills for the next five years and a shit load of guilt for them finally pulling the plug and “killing” you—rather it was your wish to pass, not their decision and they generally cannot prevent it if legal in your state! This legal document is certainly best left to an attorney to make sure it is legally worded and therefore enforceable in your state.
So guys, man up and don’t leave all this misery and pain to your survivors–well unless the worthless bums deserve it.
For most of you (politicians and terrorists excluded) someone really cares about you and depending on your assets and belongings and so much more you should cut your survivors the slack of having to deal with guilt, the state and potential family infighting (it all costs money). So have as your last great thing you did for them, your affairs set straight in a will.
The up side of all of this means your stuff gets to go to who you want and not that worthless bastard of a brother-in-law you so hate.