#172 Review Your Will

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#172

Review your will

We hear this legal advice all the time and yet I am amazed how few heed the recommendation. When did you originally write you will? [Stop reading right now if you don’t have one and make THAT your priority today.]

While I am not an attorney and no one should take my advice as officially ‘legal’ – I spent half my adult life as a financial advisor and would often review this element with clients as we were addressing the complete ‘financial’ picture. I served as Executrix for my Grandparents’ estate and learned more about what ‘not’ to do as we plan for the time when our assets get distributed to people we love.

Times Change

Many of us design our first will using very basic structures because we’re young and have little to distribute. As we grow older, accumulate material items and wealth, have children, and lose older relatives, the way we think about ‘who gets what’, will change. The people we want to carry out our wishes may also change as relationships morph over that time. This is all in addition to and separate from what needs to be addressed when there are dependant children who need to be considered.

Digital Information

Today, in conjunction with the traditional considerations, we need to think about some things that have never been issues such as your digital legacy. Many of us have photographs in online accounts… Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social identities. What do you want to have happen to that data? Your Executor needs to have a list of your electronic passwords and some direction of what to do with that information. Facebook offers a “Legacy” account; Read THIS. Do you want that information deleted or protected as historical data?

Disbursement

Experts agree that our wills need to be revisited every five years; more if our circumstances change (buying house, having children, etc.). It’s important to understand what happens if you do NOT designate your wishes. Dying Intestate (without a will) will activate a line of distribution that is automatic when someone fails to make their preference; spouse first, then children. Without a spouse (married partner) or a child, the line of disbursement moves to parents, legal siblings, and eventually – if none of those relationships exist – aunts and uncles. There may be a friend or charity that would benefit from your estate more than great Aunt Mary and so a will is a necessity.

If you haven’t recently considered your afterlife wishes, take some time to think about what is important to you and then…

Review you will.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

2 thoughts on “#172 Review Your Will

  1. Guess what, in the Commonwealth of Virginia, all direct heirs must agree of cremation of deceased. Even if they desired cremation in their will. Not sure how to get around this, unless buried out of state or maybe it was where the death took place.

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