Your will or the bureaucracy’s?

by David Hachmeister, Owner, Care & Comfort at Home for Seniors and Veterans

Things always seem to be in a little clearer focus when they touch us personally. Most of us are quite aware that it’s a good idea to have a will declaring our desires for what is left after we are gone. This hit home directly with the recent passing of a family member. He had made no will, and as a result, some very awkward family issues arose.

The importance of having a will

This situation brought to light the importance of having a will in place. Even just filling in an online template is better than nothing. No matter how much or little you might own, declaring your wishes before your death will save your loved ones needless arguments after you’ve passed on.

No time like the present

If you can’t make up your mind who gets that prized piano, discuss it with your family now. Get a sense of how to equalize things. Somebody might be a little upset over your decisions for the time being, but it is much better to get expectations in order now than leaving things to chance later. By not making your desires known before your death, grieving family and friends will resent your lack of preparation far more than had you clarified your will while you were still around. Fix it now. If you don’t, the state will, even for small estates.

Things change

Do you have a will or a trust, but haven’t looked at it in a while? You life probably has changed since you first wrote the will. For example, you could have a new grandchild, or there might have been a divorce within the family. Also, you may have left money to an organization that no longer exists or whose direction has diverged from your desires. Whether we recognize them or not, our feelings and desires do evolve. Take the time to review the old will, and revise it to reflect life as it now stands, rather than as it was when the will was first drafted.

It’s not too late — yet.

Consider this a gentle reminder to prepare or revise your will, while you are still legally of sound mind. Usually by the time people contact us at Care and Comfort at Home for Seniors and Veterans, our potential client’s mental acuity is in question. By then, it’s too late. Ultimately, you need to remember why you make your wishes known: You do it for the benefit of your loved ones, not yourself.