I am a bad personal finance blogger.
I know I should have an estate plan. I’m a lawyer. We learned about these things! I even have a family member who is an estate planner (No, I do not expect him to do this for free) so I don’t even have to go hunting for someone to do this.
And yet, I haven’t done anything about it.
It was one thing when I didn’t have any possessions. But I have a house! (Well, around 20% of a house. The bank has the rest.) I have a car. I have savings. I should make a plan for it.
Based on state intestacy laws, right now, if I died (tragically, yet heroically, I would assume), my entire estate would go to my parents. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. But it’s not what I want. My parents are awesome. But financially, they’re doing well. They were smart, and they have set aside money for retirement all their lives. They’re doing fine. So instead, I would like my estate to be split between my siblings and their kids. On the off chance my siblings are also deceased, then I want it to go to my cousins.
I thought about charity. I thought long and hard about charity. But I decided that what I really want is for the kids in my family to be taken care of. Right now, my siblings don’t have kids, but I expect to someday have a bunch of nieces and nephews. And if I’m not around to hang out with them, I want to be able to help with their educations. And I trust my siblings to do that.
I don’t really have any great possessions that I want to go to any particular person, so that’s easy.
But to do all of this, I have to get the paperwork in place. So I took the first steps. I e-mailed my family member and one of the people in his office e-mailed me some forms to fill out to get the ball rolling.
Now I just have to actually do it. No one wants to think about their own demise. But it’s the smart thing to do. Have it in place and hope you don’t need it for years and years to come.
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.