11-28-2012, 09:45 AM
I have always wondered what's a good age to have some kind of will written up. I should look up laws on living wills to see if there's something t hat would be valid, or valid enough, without a lawyer. I'm independent with no dependents. How do you even decide what you have that's worth designating? It's one thing for my grandma, who has so many priceless items (refinished furniture that's beautiful, timeless, and in excellent condition) and sentimental pieces, or my parents, who still have my 14 yr old brother to care for, but I'm only 24. I'd probably give my computer to my dad, who can use it for himself or give it to my brother, since it's much newer and faster than anything they have. It's the most expensive thing I own.
11-28-2012, 11:59 AM
If you don't have much in the way of stuff to leave then a will is not that important for you yet. Your family can sort that out as they see fit.
Originally Posted by namelesswonder
The thing I think everyone should have regardless of age however is a durable power of attorney for medical decisions. This would give someone you trust the ability to "pull the plug" and let you end your suffering if something awful should happen such as a car crash. Without one of these there can be family squabbles with one person saying it's time to let her go and another saying no, and, if that kind of thing is going on, the hospital is legally obligated to keep you alive even if it means shoving a feeding tube down your nose (ick!).
I know, it's not fun to think about. I kind of had to face these realities sooner than most people when I had cancer.
Oh, and about writing a will. You don't need a lawyer at all. Just write it up on your computer, print it out, and take it to a notary public and get your signature notarized and it is a legal document.
11-28-2012, 10:46 PM
I've had a will since I was 22. A living will since I was 18. Life insurance since I was 22.
They change over the years based on circumstances. But it's always good to have one.
11-28-2012, 10:47 PM
And it's true, a will is simple. You can write your own (particularly if your assets are basic). If your assets are more complex (and you want to avoid estate tax or whatever), then you have to do a bit more jiggling around and a lawyer is helpful.
11-29-2012, 10:05 PM
The lawyer told me today that if you hand write the whole thing and sign it it is legal but if it is printed out then the signature has to be witnessed by two people. Interesting. At least those are the regulations where I live. I don't know if that varies from place to place.
Originally Posted by Paleobird
So, now my "affairs are in order". I'm feeling more and more like I can't wait to sell this place and get out. I had my banker run some numbers and, with the money from the sale invested I could be getting a substantially bigger chunk per month and still not be touching the invested principle. A big enough chunk to rent a really nice apartment, like penthouse overlooking the harbor kind of nice.
I feel like I want to create a space that is all mine. Build my own nest. By that I mean this house was a wonderful place to grow up but staying here feels like living in the past.
11-29-2012, 10:41 PM
Yes, it's true. Anything hand-written and signed by you counts as a will. That's how it works in a hospital, too -- if you write it on hospital paper (or any random paper) and sign it before death, it is considered the "newest" will. Or, only one if it's the only one.
For the living will, it's a form -- but there's so much to fill out by hand that if you print it and wirte it out, it counts. It's just that there are leading questions on the form, so it helps.
Also, sounds like moving on is where you are right now. I can understand that whole-heartedly. I love moving forward. It always makes me feel amazing.
11-30-2012, 05:49 AM
It does, but either of those variations, would be enough to 'show your intent' in any of the states, and even if you were 'officially' intestate, the court would likely follow your wishes if they had this guide. It is an easy thing to do, at least as a start.
Originally Posted by Paleobird
11-30-2012, 10:21 AM
Yeah, I jsut hadn't know about the "hand written" part. I found that interesting. I guess it's because if the handwriting matches the signature, then they know it was you who signed it.
Originally Posted by zoebird
Yes, I am mentally moving on already. My house is starting to feel *temporary* like I already have one foot out the door.
And hopefully you don't have progeny who are going to squabble with one another about it.
Originally Posted by Sabine
I kind of like the way my Dad did it. Just give everything away while you are still alive and healthy. Then there is nothing to squabble about.
Yesterday I dug a hole in the front yard where we are going to have the memorial service. I had spent the day in lawyers and bankers offices and felt like doing something physical. I had to "borrow back" one of Dad's shovels I had given to the neighbors of the bountiful garden.
I remember seeing in Shindler's List how Jewish people put stones on top of a gravesite. I think that is an interesting tradition. There are a lot of rocks around the front yard. Maybe I will give each guest one to place.
I really think that being in good physical health makes it easier to weather the storms of life. There will always be stresses, emotions, etc. but the question is, do you let them tie you in knots an paralyze you or do you carry on with as much grace and dignity as you can in the face of whatever life throws at you?
I am feeling remarkably OK about all of the changes going on in my life right now. I sometimes feel that I am expected to be wailing and tearing my hair and sobbing or else something just isn't right. I loved my father very much and I miss him tremendously but he would not want me to be wasting my life mourning his loss.
11-30-2012, 04:26 PM
Like your dad, our plan is to give everything away before we pass as well. In my mind, this just makes sense (and avoids estate taxes).
I think that you are seeing the possibilities of your life right now, and that's a good thing. I also know that you have felt the loss of your dad, and you'll feel it more intensely some days and less intensely on others. But, I think that -- like me -- you like to look forward rather than backward, and that's probably a big part of this equation.
11-30-2012, 09:32 PM
Yes it does come in waves, but I think the people who weep and wail endlessly are often looking back and wishing that something had been different. Something was left unsaid or shouldn't have been said. Something should have been done differently. I have absolutely no regrets in regards to my Dad. We had a wonderful 50 years together. He took wonderful care of me as a child and I took the best care of him that was possible in his last years. And then it was his time to go. No loose ends. That makes it easier to look back fondly but without the pain.
Originally Posted by zoebird
I think one of the things that was so painful about my Mom's death was that she was still very young, just past 60. It just seemed
so unfair for her life to get cut off so short. My Dad had a long full life. He was ready to go. That makes it easier too.
Last edited by Paleobird; 11-30-2012 at 09:36 PM.