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.