A recent guest post by Evan over at Bargaineering talks about the importance of creating a last will and testament. The business of death and figuring out what will happen to your money and assets once you pass away can be a difficult topic to address, but it’s an important financial step that everyone has to take at some point.
Evan suggests that a careful rereading of your will should be a part of any financial review. He focuses largely on “testamentary intent,” or in other words what you want to happen when you die.
2011 is the year that the first wave of Baby Boomers will reach 65, the traditional retirement age, meaning a large number are probably at least thinking about making arrangements regarding the distribution of their assets after they die. No matter how simple you think your arrangement may be, creating this document requires the assistance of a trusted legal expert. There are two additional documents that every boomer should have: a health-care proxy and a living will.
Heather Levin at Money Crashers writes about the importance of talking to your parents about their will. She cites the sobering statistic that over half of all property owners do not have wills in place when they die. She also touches on the fact that wills are potentially sensitive topics and gives pointers on how to make the conversation go as smoothly as possible. Levin suggests talking first with siblings to make sure everyone is aware of your intentions, and even doing a bit of homework on the process of creating a will before presenting the subject to your parents. She also advocates leading by example by having your own will written before you talk to them.
Creating a will and these other documents might not be the most pleasant task, but like a solid retirement plan, they can help make the later years of your life much more hassle-free and allow you to focus on the things in life that are more important.
Have you had a conversation with your parents about their last will and testament? Or have you yet to create one?