Friday, March 13, 2009

Where there's a will...

When I was growing up, my dad (an attorney) had this sign in his office that said, "Have you made your will yet?" I was maybe 8 years old and this sign would stare me down everytime we came to visit him - he had his own law office, so this was a lot - and I think I really felt like I needed to get my will done right then. It was the same feeling you would feel if it said, "Have you made your bed today?" and you knew you hadn't. Eek.

Well, finally, finally, can take that weight off my shoulders, because very soon our wills will be done! Hurrah! (I know, who says "Hurrah" at this, but we are talking like 30 years on the to-do list, so it deserves celebrating) Have had all kinds of excuses, from not having assets, to not knowing whom to have prepare our wills, to not feeling like we could afford the expense, to not wanting to make decisions about guardians of our kids, to whatever. I planned to do it after Hannah was born - no dice. Again after Kaylie - nope. Again, a few years ago before my friend Lori died when she and her husband did their wills - even knowing I did not want to prepare wills on mine or Jim's deathbed, still did not get it done. When I became an employee of Ronald Blue, I became eligible for a benefit of partial reimbursement of the expense (even met a Christian attorney who said he would do our wills, even though Jim and I are not big bucks people like the average Ron Blue client) - got as far as the discussion with him and got stuck at data gathering and decision making.

Seems like one of those things we keep saying: We need to do that. And you always think there will be tomorrow. But we never know. So finally this week, was discussing with my co-worker, Marilyn, her mother-in-law's illness and living wills, etc. When Marilyn learned we still had not completed our wills, she agreed to be my Estate Accountability Partner and harrass me until I got it done. (Yay, Marilyn!) So, I talked to the attorney again, and Jim and I have talked again and I think we have everything lined up, we just need him to write it up and we sign it and we are good to go. (or not you know what I mean).

It is hard to make these decisions. I am someone who worries too much about what other people think and while part of me doesn't care (I'll be partying up in heaven - yee hah!), I still am afraid of offending someone when it comes to the choices we have made. Especially when it comes to guardianship of our kids. But it is just way too important to us for them to grow up in a Christian home, knowing who their Savior is, continuing to love Him the way they do now, that people are just going to have to get offended if need be. Hopefully they understand and will respect our wishes, but if not, tough.

So I ask you, "Have you made your will?" Especially if you have kids I STRONGLY encourage you to do this. You don't have to do anything fancy, most of us are in a fiscal position where we can have a very straightforward, simple will. I did not elect to use any of them, but there are even tools online and at office supply stores to help you out. Do it now so you are not ever in a position of regret. And let me know if you need me to be your "Marilyn".


Jenibug7 said...

Be my Marilyn.
We had a thing at church this week called "Plan B for Parents". An estate planning attorney taught it and basically just equipped parents with the knowledge of what would happen to the kids if we died in testate. She had SUCH good info. Like make your guardian document a separate document from your will and also appoint "temporary guardians" so that if you died in the middle of the night, a neighbor or close friend could come in and stay with the kids until the appointed guardian could get there (in case they live out of town or are traveling, etc). Otherwise, CPS will take the kids to foster homes in the interim and they may even be separated. CRAZY!!!! She also said something about making the benificiary of your life insurance a trust instead of your spouse and then kids. Becuase if it went to the kids, the state would appoint someone to control that money and your guardians would have to ask for access to it every time they needed it, etc.
It was SOOOOO overwhelming and I left completely depressed. But now we are more determined than ever to FINALLY get this done!!!

tricia said...

What a great idea (and important service for families) that your church did that!! Such important stuff and so many of us don't get it done or don't know where to begin. Some of what you told me I have heard, but have not heard about the temporary guardian. I am going to have to ask our attorney about that!!

I will start bugging you to make sure you get yours done too!