By Kristen Johnson
Proverbs 27:1 (NRSV): Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.
Planning for dying – possibly not the most uplifting subject, but one that every single one of us will face someday. We will pay taxes and we will die, just as they say – “there is nothing sure in life except death and taxes.”
Everyone should have a will, and procrastinating making a will can have devastating consequences for family members. Making a will is quick, easy, and will put your mind at ease that your “wishes” will be carried out in the event of your death.
What if you do not have legal insurance through an employer, or cannot afford to hire an attorney? No problem. Many states, my California included, provide free legal wills online. It takes 10 minutes to fill out, and it doesn’t even require a notary! You simply fill in the form and ask two witnesses to sign it, and finally put it in a safe place for someone to find in the event of your death.
Here is one of many links to make your own will: http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/0/documents/publications/2014_CAStatutoryWillForm_ab_1986_bill_20100715.pdf
All this “death talk” may sound depressing, but it really isn’t it. It’s much more depressing to think about family members trying to “guess” how you would like things distributed, or thinking about your heirs having to battle courts to get things done. Although it may seem obvious where your assets will go (children, spouse, etc.) sometimes children and/or spouses will fight over verbal wishes, when these things can easily be solved with a written will.
Litigation over the estate. If someone contests the will or accuses the executor of misconduct, costs can soar. The estate will have to hire an attorney to defend it, and if the dispute goes all the way to trial, it will cost tens of thousands of dollars. (NOLO)
Do a little planning – it will likely take less than an hour of your time. Peace of mind is a beautiful thing.
Philippians 5:7 (NRSV): And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Serve all with love.
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