Yesterday, I attended our local county bar association meeting. Just a normal event for me. However, I got to talking with another attorney that has been practicing for over 30 years. We discussed the changes in wills and estate planning that has happened over the past five years, mainly the impact of the do-it-yourself legal advice that so many get off the internet. So as an aside before I list what you need to have so that your children, parents, siblings, or basically anyone you love are protected in case of your death, please realize that many of the do-it-yourself advice or forms on the internet will not give you protection in the case that your will is contested or in the case that your will is no longer updated for your current life.
You MUST have a will. It’s simple, go get one done. Like I said above, I highly would not recommend you using a form or a software, this is something you should go see an attorney about. However, at a minimum get one of the forms. It will not give you all the protection you need, however it’s better than nothing. I know, no one looks forward to getting one done. We all want to envision we will live forever, but we won’t. We never know when the end is up. Do you really want to leave your children’s future to the mercy of the court with absolutely no input from you?
But also, while you are there. Get a living will and a power of attorney done. These are just as important, if not more important than the will. The living will protects your medical decisions and how you want to be treated, in the event that you yourself cannot make those decisions. A power of attorney allows others to handle the day to day arrangements of your life, like talking to your mortgage company, paying bills, enrolling children in school, in case you are unable to do so. People fail to see the importance but if you don’t have that simple piece of paper, you could be waiting until you can get a hearing in front of a judge.
I know, I know, I’ve depressed you all! I’m so sorry! But I do want to make sure your family is looked after! Feel free to send me an email if you are in need of an attorney in your area, and I’ll see if I can find a quality one!