weekly blog--one for the ages
Former Zappos chief executive Tony Hsieh, who died from complications of smoke inhalation from a house fire over the Thanksgiving holiday, didn’t have a will. He was 46 and reportedly worth almost $1 billion. The musical legend Prince didn’t have one. Aretha Franklin had three handwritten wills, which resulted in an ugly battle between her heirs. A 2016 Gallup poll found that more than 30 percent of people 65 and older didn't have one, nor did more than 40 percent of people ages 50 through 64.
The main reasons people stall, according to Caring.com? They say either that they just haven't gotten around to it or they don't have enough assets to leave to anyone. Whether you are wealthy, poor, or somewhere in between, maybe now is the time to make that New Year’s resolution to do so. Alas, without instructions on how you want to distribute your assets, you may leave a legacy of chaos. In the worst cases, relationships are forever fractured, because you didn’t take the time to prepare for your death.
And while you’re at it, create a "Death Book" for the person who you designate to handle your affairs. A Death Book should include the following:
-- Detailed instructions on who gets what.
-- Advance health-care directives such as a living will which details the type of medical treatment you want at the end of your life and your health-care power of attorney who can make medical decisions on your behalf.
-- Ownership information, including the mortgage servicer, titles to vehicles and other properties, retirement account/pension information, life insurance policy information.
-- Instructions for the kind of funeral arrangements you want.
-- A bio or resume to help write your obituary.
-- Military related information including discharge papers.
Former Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh didn’t have a will. Here’s why you need one. - The Washington Post
How to Stop Stalling and Write Your Will and Estate Plan (aarp.org)