Monday, December 03, 2007

First Last Will and Testament

My wife and I prepared our wills this weekend. Similar to life insurance, it is not fun to do as one if forced to contemplate one’s own mortality. However, unlike term life insurance which only stands a specific number of years, a will is executed upon your inevitable demise.

An unmarried individual without children may not see much need for a will, but with marriage and children, it becomes increasingly important to protect the family’s well being. This well being is most important when one considers child rearing and estate planning. The closest relative is not always the most suitable or the most disinterested. I feel a certain amount of distance can be beneficial if one sees eye to eye on key issues.

Once the dust settled, my wife and I did agree on guardianship for our daughter and an executor for our estate. We chose two different people as the chosen guardian was not the most financially savvy, and our limited estate would have to last potentially 20+ years.

The wills were very straightforward without any specific bequeaths. I think that comes later in life as individuals see value in collections or family heirlooms that multiple surviving loved ones may feel entitled to.

In any event I recommend going through the exercise as my understanding is that the first will and testament is rarely the last will and testament.

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