Wills and Ting

Last night my hometown team won the Super Bowl and one of the all time best entertainers, Mrs. Carter literally shut the Super Dome down. Her performance was so high voltage the lights were out for 30 minutes, somebody definitely lost their job last night (unless they're in a union ~inside j/k). Anyway, I am mentally going through the beginning stages of getting prepared for my upcoming labor. I am on an 8-10 week time frame. I'm definitely overly anxious to meet BC2. I am a little bummed that the doula we used for Lil D's birth will not be available, oh well. I assigned D to the task of being my doula. I know, ahh ohh, I'm a little apprehensive about this, but he is a coach and he has had first hand experience of seeing a doula in action. He was excited at the prospect of being "daddy doula" and even mentioned he would look into creating a rice sock. :-\ I've scheduled a tour of the birth center where we will have BC2. I hope it meets all of my expectations. 

Besides my mental aerobics centered around birth, {S/N: I'm on train typing this sitting next to a grown man who is digging in his nose and mouth!!! WTH! Get me off this train!} I have been busily getting our family estate planning in order. This past Saturday we went to a notary to notarize our living wills (health care directives) and last will and testament. As I presented the paperwork to the notary I was quite appalled at her ignorance about planning for the unexpected. She said to me, "You are so young, why do you need a will?" I not so politely told her, "death and injury is not on a timetable". Ignorance is indeed bliss.

Way back in October our accountant recommended a lawyer who specialized in estate planning. We had a very informative two hour consultation with her and got a very good idea of the exact paperwork we needed. D asked her a million what if questions, which she patiently answered. We left the consult feeling quite comfortable with her doing our estate planning, but she was charging $300 per will! After thinking about it for three months, we decided it wasn't something we were willing to pay so much for. Through divine intervention, my neighbor spoke to D and ask if we could be witnesses for the signing of his family's wills and power of attorney. We agreed and I told them of our $600 situation. They were gracious enough to share a DIY site for free legal documents, Rocket Lawyer. Immediately went to the site and created our living will (healthcare power of attorney) and last will and testament.

I know its some heavy stuff, but when BC2 decides to use my ribs as a kickboard at 3 in the morning I think about some serious issues. I sit up thinking: Who will care for the children if we both were to die? Who will receive our property if both of us die at the same time? Who will handle the business affairs of our estate? If I were on life support who would decide to take me off?

Why You Need A Will, Especially as a Parent

If you die without a will or without naming a guardian, the courts will have to make the decision. This means that someone could be appointed to raise your children who does not necessarily share your values and parenting skills. The courts make their decision based on state law and what is considered best for the children, according to Colorado State University Extension. All this will happen in a short court hearing. Source

Some property is transferred automatically at death to the person with survivorship rights. This property, called non-probate property, includes most life insurance policies and assets transferred by beneficiary designation (such as retirement plans) and property held in joint tenancy with right of survivorship. Even if all property is non-probate property, a couple still needs wills to transfer the property in case the person with survivorship rights does not survive and to provide for the care of children.

The Bottom Line

Lengthy disputes and delays are likely to prevent your beneficiaries from receiving the funds they need to settle your estate and benefit in the way you intend. So create a will as soon as possible.