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February 25, 2010


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Thanks for the great post...

This is a loaded topic, as I have witnessed wrangling among grown adults in both the passing of a great-aunt (died prematurely of a stroke) and a grandmother (had alzheimer's for the last 5 years or so of her life. This is bad since you cannot know what's happening with your estate other than what has been already legalized. I really hope that my parents have the foresight to hammer out the details before their passing.

I really don't know how to brooch the subject without sounding as if I'm looking for an inheritance (which I neither need nor expect). My parents are divorced and I just don't want to end up in a fighting match w/other family members.

I was astonished when i was writing similar article to find that about 70%of Americans do not have a written will.
Talking about estate planning and will is sometimes associated with death and it is easier for many people to be quiet or deal with it passively than proactively.
we have only been married going two years now but we've decided that even though we do not even own a home, we are going to draft our DIY will and when God blesses us with larger estates we shall modify or re-write it.

Another huge reason to follow this advice is if you have a special needs child and your parents are going to leave money to him or her.

Grandparents could inadvertently prevent a child with special needs from receiving gov't benefits. Just a small thought on a large topic.

Having heard about siblings and their spouses in another family arguing about "who gets what and who doesn't deserve this or that" while the final parent is still alive, my wife and I, even though we have very comprehensive, up-to-date, and well written wills and trust documents we feel that their contents are nobody else's business except our attorney and ourselves.

I am sure there will be some that get more than they expect, some that get less, and some that are excluded but that is our wish and our attorney has done a great job of implementing our wishes.

Since my wife and I have never been bequeathed anything from anyone, it doesn't bother us at all, what beneficaries think after we are gone. We have always stressed the FMF principles of working hard, living within your means, saving hard for your own security, minimizing debt, and standing on your own two feet.

Another thing I have observed is that it really isn't a good idea to loan money to a child. It's probably better to give it to them. A son-in-law of mine got into a nasty argument with his dying father who claimed that he had never repaid a large loan. It wasn't resolved until the son showed his father the cancelled repayment check. These days there are many people living much longer than in the past and quite a few have some degree of senility where they start losing their memory and don't take care of their bills and other paperwork.

Choosing your executor is important - if it's a family member it should be that person in whom you have the utmost trust and confidence to carry out your final instructions.

Nicely said.

Unfortunately too many people - including seniors - just don't want to deal with the topic of estate planning.

When Mrs. MasterPo and I just started talking about having a family the very first thing MasterPo said had to be done was to see an estate planning lawyer and get wills and other docs made up. Best move ever.

People don't want to deal with it. Some see it as loosing control, some see it as the family trying to steal their life's savings, and many just don't want to deal with it because it reminds them of their own mortality (as short sighted as that may be, everyone goes eventually.)

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