Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Why I'm On My Soapbox Today

“Death, a necessary end, will come when it will come”
 - William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

Today I'm doing something I haven't done before - I'm using my blog as my personal soapbox.

I've tried to be a good little blogger. I've written about friendship, teaching obedience to our kids, and I've even waxed poetic about my husband. One thing I haven't done is vent my personal beliefs. It just seemed like an abuse of my position here behind the keyboard. You, my totally awesome reader, have too much to do in your day to listen to me spout off about something. But today, I'm going to take the chance.

So let me ask you - do you have a will? You know, a Last Will and Testament that tells the world what to do with your stuff after you're dead. If you are an adult, and you own anything at all, you need a will.

A will is a device that lets you tell the world 
whom you want to get your assets. 
Die without one, and the state decides who gets what, 
without regard to your wishes or your heirs' needs.

Maybe you are ready to blow me off right here. You might be thinking, I'm married. My spouse will automatically get my stuff when I die. What if I that's not the case? According to Forbes.com, only 16 states have laws that give the stuff to the remaining spouse. Can you imagine? Something happens to you, and your spouse is left to grieve your loss and sort through the stuff. Only you didn't leave a will. So the courts get to decide whether or not your spouse gets your stuff. On top of grief, now your spouse gets to fight for your stuff. Do you really want that for the one you love?

Maybe I'm not convincing you here. Let me talk to the parent in you. Do you have a will? In it, do you name the guardian for your child(ren)? If not, did you know that the state will decide who gets to raise them? You know that crazy in-law that you keep your kids away from? Even they would be fair game as a guardian if you don't have a will. 

I can see you rolling your eyes and shaking your head at me. You think I'm making a major case out of nothing. Ok. I'll step back a bit.

Let's talk babysitters - those people we pay money to so we can have a few hours off. How much work goes into choosing that sitter? How many references do we get before we trust that person with our precious babies? Do you know there is an entire list of websites telling you what questions to ask before you make that important choice?

What about sleepovers? According to MSNBC, there is a whole movement of moms who refuse to let their kids participate in sleepovers because of worry over their children's safety. {I'm not pointing fingers. I am one of those moms.}

What's my point with babysitter choice and banning sleepovers? How many of us agonize over topics like this but haven't named a guardian for our children in a will? We get extensive references for someone to keep them for a few hours yet leave deciding who will raise them if we die up to some judge. See where I'm going here?

Now what? Hopefully, I've convinced you that if you don't have a will, you need one. Today! But that knowledge wouldn't do you any good if I didn't point you in the right direction to get one. The internet is full of tips and recommendations of how and where to write your will. I have an inexpensive and easy option for you.  US Legal Forms has everything you need for a great price. {side note - US Legal Forms is not paying me for this. They don't even know I'm recommending them.} You can go to their website and download the forms you need for a small price. In less than two minutes, I had accessed the correct will for my state and my situation (married with minor children). It couldn't have been easier. 

Ok. Commercial over. Time for the sum up. 

We agonize over who will watch our kids for a few hours for a night out. We are seriously cautious over letting them sleepover at friends' houses. Yet, according to Forbes.com , half of us are living without a will!! If you don't have one already, please get a will today!

I'm done. Climbing down off my soapbox now.



Linking this article with Pour Your Heart Out


22 comments:

  1. Ouch. I promise I'll put it on my to do list near the top.

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  2. What are the odds. Amy and I were just talking about this!!

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  3. You're right I haven't even considered a will and I probably should. I generally think i'm young so its not something I need to think about but as a mum I really should get one.

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    1. Glad I could start you thinking on it.

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  4. We were just talking about this. We have a will, but it was written well before kids! :/

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    1. Then allow me to be the not-so-gentle nudge to get it updated :-)

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  5. Yes, Yes, Yes, and Yes! Dawn - You are so right! We all need to have Wills! (We do by the way, being that the husband is in the business) Next time you can add LIFE INSURANCE to your list of things people NEED TO HAVE! Being in the business, I have seen and heard too many horror stories of families that are left to struggle because a spouse has suddenly passed away and they were not prepared. I get that we all think that we are going to be around forever... but we are not. And $250,000 in life insurance will get your spouse and children about a year to grieve and then mom or dad will have to pick up, get to work and try not to lose their home.... (So was this YOUR soapbox or mine......) LOVE YOU!

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    1. All good points, Heidi. I totally agree with you about life insurance. But I figured one issue per soapbox would do :-)

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  6. We have talked about writing a will and have even chose who we want to raise our kids but we have yet to put it in writing. We NEED to do it!!

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    1. Choosing who to list as a guardian is the hardest part, and you've already got it covered. The rest is just fill in the blanks. You can do it!

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  7. This is something my husband and I have talked about quite a lot. We haven't done it yet because we haven't agreed on who our kids would go to. He says his mom, I say my younger brother. Ugh.

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    1. That is such a tough decision. I don't envy you the process. We went through it too. Remember, your least favorite option is likely to be miles better than whatever the courts decide.

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  8. Having a will is a gift to your family and friends. It takes away the pressure of dealing with so many decisions. It's all right there in black and white. We wrote our will years ago. It needs updating and you have motivated me to get hubby and take care of it. Thanks

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    1. I'm glad I could provide the motivation! Updating our is on the agenda for the weekend. Not very exciting, but necessary.

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  9. Amen! We put off creating our will until that fateful day when the blue plus sign showed up on the little strip...

    Even though we are broke, I agree that they are important!

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    1. That plus sign changes everything :-)

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  10. This is such an important topic that so many parents overlook! It's good you're talking about it. I think one reason people stall is the guardianship issue. It's a hard decision to make sometimes. And yes, we have done our wills.

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    1. Guardianship is a really tough decision. It's such a big deal that it causes many people to put off writing wills. Glad you wrote one.

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  11. we did it before my oldest daughter was born, and have updated not too long ago. Great point you made and I HATE sleepovers! We move too much and have no idea who these people are that want to have my daughters sleep over, I trust no one! Also a new issue we have is we don't let our girls ride with just any parent, we were totally surprised and furious at the housewives where we live that start drinking before noon!

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    1. Sounds like we have lots in common. I'm very picky about who my kids ride with or which houses they visit. It's a fine line between safe and psycho, but I'm trying to walk it carefully.

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I would love to hear what you think. And I'll write back. Thanks for making the time to leave me a message.

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