Author Topic: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.  (Read 3852 times)

meerkat

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Have you been thinking about getting a will but haven't gotten around to it? Or life insurance? Or naming a guardian for your child? This is the place for you!

Everyone's journey is going to be a little bit different so I'm going to leave this a more flexible challenge where you create your own specific goals, similar to the fitness thread. When you post, please let us know what stage of the game you're at and what you'd like to try to accomplish, even if that means "figure out what I need to accomplish".

Welcome!

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meerkat

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2017, 08:34:57 AM »
[Under construction, feel free to leave post feedback]

FAQs/basic overview:

Will. This states who-gets-what when you die, names guardians, and specifies a trusted person to be in charge. A will (short for “last will and testament”) is a state-specific, legally binding document that says what happens to your money and property. Your will typically addresses the following issues:
Executor - ensures the instructions you left are followed appropriately.
Beneficiaries - lists who you want to receive your assets.
Guardians – designates care for your children or pets.
Investments/debt – lists how to distribute investments or pay for debts.

Living will. This is also called an advance healthcare directive. It states your end of life wishes for medical care that you do -- or don't -- want. This document goes by a few different names (advance healthcare directive, personal directive, advance directive, or advance decision), but no matter what you call it, it defines your wishes for end-of-life medical care. The living will frequently includes:
Whether or not to continue life support if you are legally brain dead, in an irreversible coma, or dying from terminal illness.
Medical procedures or treatments you do (or do not) want.
Pain management wishes.
Instructions for hospice care.

Power of attorney. This third document compliments the others in certain circumstances. Let’s imagine aren’t able to take care of things for yourself. POA designates one or more people who have the authority to make decisions for you. You can split up duties, such as having one person make medical decisions while another makes financial decisions. For example, you may want your nurse sister to make your medical decisions, and your accountant brother handling your financial ones. Here are example scenarios where a POA is vitally important:
You have had an accident and are unconscious.
You are suffering from a mental illness.
A parent is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

What’s the difference between a living will and a durable healthcare power of attorney? Both a living will and a durable healthcare power of attorney (POA) allow you to name someone you trust to make medical choices for you. A durable power of attorney for healthcare does not cover end-of life care. It names someone who can make all other health care decisions if you are unable to speak for yourself. This can happen during an illness or surgery.

For Washington state residents: https://www.washingtonlawhelp.org/issues/health/powers-of-attorney-health-care-directives

You may also want to make a letter of instruction, also known as a letter of intent (Investopedia):
Quote
A good letter of instruction should contain the following information:
  • A complete list of all assets, both liquid and illiquid
  • The whereabouts of any and all tangible assets that are not readily accessible
  • The names, passwords, PIN numbers and account numbers of all liquid assets, including bank, brokerage, retirement and investment accounts.
  • The names and contact information of any bankers, brokers, attorneys or other professionals who handle your assets
  • Informal information regarding the dispersion of assets, such as who would get a sentimental possession or heirloom (the will may state that these articles are to be distributed according to the letter)
  • Preferred charities for donations, if they are expected instead of flowers
  • Location of most recent copies of all financial and Social Security statements, tax returns, and legal documents (such as wills and trusts)
  • List of all financial account beneficiaries and their contact information, if necessary
  • The location of all titles and/or deeds for real estate property, rental property, oil and gas leases, etc.
  • Your Social Security number and birth certificate
  • Location (and keys to) all safe deposit boxes
  • Any divorce and/or citizenship papers, or applications thereof
  • Contact information of any debtors, such as mortgages, credit cards and car loans
  • Contact information for any and all insurance coverage, especially life insurance.
  • Care and placement of any pets
  • Contact information for all retirement account or estate beneficiaries

Have The Conversation with your loved ones. https://theconversationproject.org/starter-kits/
Talking with your loved ones openly and honestly, before a medical crisis happens, gives everyone a shared understanding about what matters most to you at the end of life. You can use this Starter Kit whether you are getting ready to tell someone else what you want, or you want to help someone else get ready to share their wishes.

Finding a lawyer - call a few to get an idea of what they would charge to draft a will, living will, and power of attorney for your situation. If you're in the US, avvo.com can be a good resource to find a few lawyers near you to call.

Free advanced directives worksheets by state, from the AARP.

Alzheimer's Disease
https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/legal-and-financial-planning-people-alzheimers

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/advance-care-planning-healthcare-directives
https://www.cancer.org/treatment/finding-and-paying-for-treatment/understanding-financial-and-legal-matters/advance-directives/types-of-advance-health-care-directives.html
https://www.cancer.org/treatment/finding-and-paying-for-treatment/understanding-financial-and-legal-matters/advance-directives/types-of-advance-health-care-directives.html

Five wishes:
-My wish for the person I want to make care decisions for me when I can't
-My wish for the kind of medical treatment I want or don't want
-How comfortable I want to be
-How I want people to treat me
-What I want my loved ones to know
https://www.agingwithdignity.org/five-wishes
Sample: https://agingwithdignity.org/docs/default-source/default-document-library/product-samples/fwsample.pdf?sfvrsn=2

What are good things for me to do in advance in case of emergency but not actual death?
Have copies of all your important documents (will, insurance information, photocopy of your passport, etc.) stored in a safe place other than your home. If your house burns down in the middle of the night you still want to have these things.
Have an In Case of Emergency (ICE) contact in your phone. (Helpful Link)
If your phone has one of those little "emergency ID" lock screens, put your meds on there! Especially any heart meds, insulin, stuff like that is super important. If an accident happens, it's likely some care will be provided before the medical provider can get in touch with your medical decision maker/family.
Have a written list of accounts, get as many things on autopay as possible.

A quick word about emergency preparedness. Since you're going to all this trouble to have difficult conversations with your family members and drafting up documents, you don't want to lose it all in a house fire or flood. Plus there's a couple other things you can knock out at the same time that will make life a lot easier if an emergency happens later.

Have a BOB, or Bug Out Bag, ready to go. Your BOB should include a disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate".  The amount of cash should be based on the basic needs of your family, including food, gas, and other necessities. The critical information will be:
1. E-mail addresses and phone numbers for your household members and any family you may rely on in an emergency. Don't assume you'll have access to your phone's contact list.
2. Identification - driver's license, passport, birth certificate, social security card
3. Professional Licenses - the credential itself, and all training classes needed to certify for credential
4. Personal Property - title to car, deeds to home, boat, etc
5. Tax history
6. Will, Power of Attorney, Advanced Heath care Directive
More about Bug Out Bags.

For electronic copies of important documents, store them in a password-protected format on a removable flash or external hard drive in your fireproof and waterproof box or safe, or consider using a secure offsite storage service. Visit www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/st04-019 to learn how to use electronic encryption to protect sensitive information.

Quote
Pre-Having Your Shit Together, you wake up in the night to the sound of your smoke alarms.  The house is on fire!  You roll out of bed naked, stumble about trying to put some clothes on and eventually manage to be 'decent'.  You dash out into the living room, which is now filled with smoke, and you start searching for Whiskers the Cat, who you finally find under the sofa.  He doesn't come when you call, and you can't quite reach him so you spend some time working on that.  When you do manage to fish the ungrateful creature out from under there, you stand up with him to try to get out of the house - but it's too late - you are overcome by smoke and you die on the floor.

Post-Having Your Shit Together, you wake up in the night to the sound of your smoke alarms.  The house is on fire!  You roll out of bed naked, snatch your BOB and your wife's BOB out from under the bed, grab your laptop bag, and dash out of the door.  Your wife, who grabbed Junior out of his crib in your bedroom is right behind you.  She's naked too.  (May as well get as much play out of that as I can...)  The whole family rendezvous at the mailbox, where you all unzip your BOBs and pull on some clothes.  Whoever is dressed first dials 911 on the cell phone.  If the weather is warm, you can call before you get dressed.  Health and Wealth protected.

AHH! This is too much! I'm overwhelmed! That's okay, this is a lot of stuff and it's important, emotionally-weighty stuff. Break it out into smaller chunks and do one thing a week, or one thing a month. Getting a little bit done is better than getting nothing done because you're overwhelmed.

Sources:
Ready.gov
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Get Your Shit Together
Investopedia
avvo.com
AARP
Listening To Katrina
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 05:51:47 AM by meerkat »
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meerkat

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2017, 08:35:13 AM »
Reserved for resources
« Last Edit: November 13, 2017, 12:52:27 PM by meerkat »
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meerkat

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2017, 08:38:12 AM »
To get the ball rolling - after years of putting it off, then getting wills drafted but not executed, we finally got our wills created and executed. I still want to get more life insurance on Mr. Meer and make sure all of my financial accounts have the right beneficiaries listed. I'd also like to create a "hit by a bus" file to keep in our safe that has a list of where all we have accounts and possibly usernames/passwords as well. My child has special needs so this would also include some of his medical information so his guardians aren't starting from scratch.
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Bracken_Joy

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2017, 08:43:53 AM »
Yes, I need to do this! My living will is woefully out of date- lists an ex boyfriend =o And I've been married for years now! Plus, now that we have a mortgage, I would like to get life insurance sorted. We don't have kids, so the will is less of an issue, but there's still shit I need to sort!

Goals:
-Get a written list of all my accounts, (CC, bank, the two tiny freebie life insurance policies paid for by our credit union, investments, etc) so if anything happens to us it's all in one place
-Make sure beneficiaries on all my accounts are correct and updated
-Sort life insurance (gulp)
-Do living wills for husband and myself. (this should be easier, since we've already done the tough conversations part of it)
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SuperSecretName

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2017, 08:53:57 AM »
shoot, i really need to do this.

How much should I budget for a real attorney (not legalzoom)?

lexde

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2017, 08:56:16 AM »
Hey, thanks for the reminder! I have a folder on my computer called “It’s Time to Adult” where I have drafted a POA, Will, Pour-Over Trust, and Living Will, but haven’t actually executed everything in it yet. So I need to get on that.

Me: 27F Attorney.
Status: Single.
Net Worth: -3k.

• Have a POA drafted but not executed.
• Have a will drafted but not executed.
• Have a pour over trust drafted but not executed.
• Have a living will/advanced directive drafted but not executed.
• Term life insurance needs additional blood work before they will finalize my policy.

I guess I should keep all of my financial accounts, passwords, medical cards and information, and other important info somewhere but I’m not sure where at this point. May be time to invest in a safe deposit box. I’m sure one of my banks will give a discounted or free SDP based on my assets. But I’m also thinking I should just make a binder and keep it at home just in case.

snacky

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2017, 08:59:01 AM »
I'm in.
Enjoy what comes
Be amazing at everything
Stomp on the hearts of the unworthy

lexde

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2017, 09:04:28 AM »
shoot, i really need to do this.

How much should I budget for a real attorney (not legalzoom)?
Depends on your area. Call a few law firms in your area (check avvo.com first for reviews if in the US) and get a general idea of what they would charge.

SuperSecretName

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2017, 09:19:19 AM »
shoot, i really need to do this.

How much should I budget for a real attorney (not legalzoom)?
Depends on your area. Call a few law firms in your area (check avvo.com first for reviews if in the US) and get a general idea of what they would charge.
Can I just ask for the "adult" package?

It is just will (living and dead) and POA?

Apples

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2017, 09:25:26 AM »
Yeah I'm jumping in.  DH and I are childless (but plans in the next 2 years or so), have retirement, taxable, and bank accounts, I have a small life insurance through work, and we have no health paperwork set up.  This is our (my) winter project.  Not looking forward to it.

lexde

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2017, 09:28:25 AM »
shoot, i really need to do this.

How much should I budget for a real attorney (not legalzoom)?
Depends on your area. Call a few law firms in your area (check avvo.com first for reviews if in the US) and get a general idea of what they would charge.
Can I just ask for the "adult" package?

It is just will (living and dead) and POA?
It honestly depends on what your needs are, and any attorney worth their salt will review your personal situation and determine what you actually need. If the attorney has good reviews (I like avvo because attorneys and clients are both able to review so you get a better picture of the attorney’s full reputation) then they probably won’t take you for a ride and offer a bunch of stuff you don’t need. Just tell them you need assistance with estate planning and getting your affairs in order and they will be able to take a look. Generally people just need POA, advanced directives/living will, and a will. But if you have kids, or pets, or specific needs, that may change. You may want a different financial POA than medical if one of your family members is good with money, but you’re afraid they won’t pull the plug or authorize the care you want. An estate planning attorney will have a lot of insight into common issues and what specific tools would help you meet your goals. And a good estate attorney’s advice is worth their weight in gold. Shop around, and if the first attorney you talk to doesn’t sound engaged or personally interested in your goals, move on to the next one. We are public servants (or should be, anyway) so if you don’t feel like they WANT to work for YOU move on to the next one.

PM me if you have any other questions and I’ll do what I can to help.

cchrissyy

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2017, 10:21:55 AM »
This was my goal for the new year and I did it! 
: )

I needed a Will, Trust, Power of attorney for medical decisions and financial stuff. I paid $2k for an estate lawyer to do it all properly. I'm a single mom and what I cared about the most was the trust for my assets to go to the kids when and how I them to, and selecting who will have the authority for medical decisions if I am incapacitated.

adjusted my life insurance situation

double checked beneficiaries everywhere

wrote a long letter of instructions for my family members regarding everything they'd need to know if I was incapacitated or passed away

backed up my computer, photo library, the letter mentioned above, etc .  1 copy stored in my house and 1 copy at a separate safe location.


The lawyer was recomended by a friend-of-a-friend and verified by yelp reviews. I really liked him at the free consult and felt the price was fair. Even though $2k is a lot, I felt confident he would do it right and the service was worth it to me.

Jessa

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2017, 10:27:47 AM »
Oh man, adulting. I have my 401k beneficiaries set up, and the majority of my cash assets are in a joint account with Husband, so there was only <$10k that would be problematic if I shuffle loose this mortal coil.

But.

We are building a house, which will increase the monthly expenses by enough that Husband would be hard-pressed to pay it on his own. And we are (I am) gestating a fetus that will require insurance and daycare and other costly things. So I need to get life insurance on at least myself to make sure Husband and Tiny Sparkles will be okay for a while. And then figure out who I'd dump the unborn kid on if we both croak. And then all those other things you guys are talking about. *sigh*

Bicycle_B

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2017, 10:29:11 AM »
Posted details in "Preparing for Senility?" thread.  Currently shopping for long term care insurance, though that's not a good deal for the average Mustache.

Thread:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/preparing-for-senility/

Me:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/preparing-for-senility/msg1764518/#msg1764518

Why LTCI (sorry about length):
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/preparing-for-senility/msg1767512/#msg1767512
« Last Edit: November 13, 2017, 10:36:22 AM by Bicycle_B »

meerkat

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2017, 11:11:50 AM »
Posted details in "Preparing for Senility?" thread.  Currently shopping for long term care insurance, though that's not a good deal for the average Mustache.

Thread:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/preparing-for-senility/

Me:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/preparing-for-senility/msg1764518/#msg1764518

Why LTCI (sorry about length):
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/preparing-for-senility/msg1767512/#msg1767512

That's a great thread and I like the Why LTCI post in particular. Thanks for point it out, I probably would have missed it otherwise.
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PizzaSteve

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2017, 11:14:26 AM »
PTF.  Need trust & any assistance is helpful.
All posts are opinions of the author subject to independent verification by the reader.  No representations of fact are asserted regarding commercial products or services.

Pizzasteve prefers to avoid excessive critical debates.  In the event of a post, no need to reply or quote if you disagree. I am posting information meant to stand on its own and hope to avoid back and forth debating.

Sailor Sam

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2017, 11:31:17 AM »
Yes, I need to do this! My living will is woefully out of date- lists an ex boyfriend =o And I've been married for years now! Plus, now that we have a mortgage, I would like to get life insurance sorted. We don't have kids, so the will is less of an issue, but there's still shit I need to sort!

Goals:
-Get a written list of all my accounts, (CC, bank, the two tiny freebie life insurance policies paid for by our credit union, investments, etc) so if anything happens to us it's all in one place
-Make sure beneficiaries on all my accounts are correct and updated
-Sort life insurance (gulp)
-Do living wills for husband and myself. (this should be easier, since we've already done the tough conversations part of it)

Hey, heath care person! Can you help me understand the scerarios in which an Advanced Directives would kick in. Here's what I understand:

1. Brain Dead = the brainstem is farked, unplugging is a no-brainer (snirt!) and death is guaranteed because even the basic reflex for breath and heart beat is gone.

2. Persistent Vegetative State  = Coma = brain is profoundly damaged, but brainstem will keep the heart and lungs going. The person might also laugh, grimace, or cry, but all higher cognitive functions have stopped. People who are going to wake generally do so within 4 weeks, however extreme outliers have been known to exist. People can exist in this state for years, but generally die from pneumonia and get terrible pressure sores.For PVS there's nothing to 'unplug,' because basic reflexes remain intact. The Advanced Directive will need to specify no hydration or nutrition???

3. End-stage terminal illness. Death is going to occur, so heroic measures are kind of dumb, but palliative care can be requested. Advanced Directive will need to specify no life saving treatment (dyalysis), and have do not resuscitate orders, but request comfort care?

4. Dementia. Sucks. Euthanasia is illegal, so plan one final international trip.

Am I missing any scenarios? Obviously I'm not looking for incredible specifics, just situations in which my body might keep going when my mind is gone.


FireHiker

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2017, 12:36:03 PM »
Ok, I'm jumping in here, because it's egregious that we haven't done this. I had a will written up when I had just gone through my divorce and had one child. I have since remarried, had two more children, and my husband and I have substantial enough assets that we really need to get this done. Here are my goals:

-determine if we need a trust
-get trust (if deemed necessary) in place
-sort out will with guardianship clearly stated
-medical stuff (advanced directive? I know nothing on all this)

lemonverbena

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2017, 02:56:16 PM »
Sigh. Yeah, we need to do this, too. What are everyone's thoughts on just using an online template and having it notarized?

-will
-trust
-life insurance for spouse
-learn more about disability insurance
-advanced directives... does this include burial/cremation preferences?
- letter with instructions/passwords, etc.

thedigitalone

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2017, 03:23:41 PM »
Posting to follow, guilty as well, we don't have most of this in place.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2017, 04:15:53 PM »
Yes, I need to do this! My living will is woefully out of date- lists an ex boyfriend =o And I've been married for years now! Plus, now that we have a mortgage, I would like to get life insurance sorted. We don't have kids, so the will is less of an issue, but there's still shit I need to sort!

Goals:
-Get a written list of all my accounts, (CC, bank, the two tiny freebie life insurance policies paid for by our credit union, investments, etc) so if anything happens to us it's all in one place
-Make sure beneficiaries on all my accounts are correct and updated
-Sort life insurance (gulp)
-Do living wills for husband and myself. (this should be easier, since we've already done the tough conversations part of it)

Hey, heath care person! Can you help me understand the scerarios in which an Advanced Directives would kick in. Here's what I understand:

1. Brain Dead = the brainstem is farked, unplugging is a no-brainer (snirt!) and death is guaranteed because even the basic reflex for breath and heart beat is gone.

2. Persistent Vegetative State  = Coma = brain is profoundly damaged, but brainstem will keep the heart and lungs going. The person might also laugh, grimace, or cry, but all higher cognitive functions have stopped. People who are going to wake generally do so within 4 weeks, however extreme outliers have been known to exist. People can exist in this state for years, but generally die from pneumonia and get terrible pressure sores.For PVS there's nothing to 'unplug,' because basic reflexes remain intact. The Advanced Directive will need to specify no hydration or nutrition???

3. End-stage terminal illness. Death is going to occur, so heroic measures are kind of dumb, but palliative care can be requested. Advanced Directive will need to specify no life saving treatment (dyalysis), and have do not resuscitate orders, but request comfort care?

4. Dementia. Sucks. Euthanasia is illegal, so plan one final international trip.

Am I missing any scenarios? Obviously I'm not looking for incredible specifics, just situations in which my body might keep going when my mind is gone.

I will start with links. It sounds like you pretty much have the gist of it though.
https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/advance-care-planning-healthcare-directives
https://www.cancer.org/treatment/finding-and-paying-for-treatment/understanding-financial-and-legal-matters/advance-directives/types-of-advance-health-care-directives.html

Important quote, IMO: "There’s no general agreement for recognizing living wills from other states. If you spend time in more than one state, you should create separate living wills, or make sure that your living will meets the requirements of all the states you spend a lot of time in."
and
"A living will is much more limited than a health care power of attorney. Both apply only when you are unable to speak for yourself, but the living will takes effect only if you are terminally ill or permanently unconscious. The living will gives written instructions about certain things that might happen. But it can’t possibly cover every health care situation that could come up, and it may not cover your situation when you need it. With most types of living wills, you can’t choose an agent or proxy to make decisions for you, and no one is appointed to be sure that your wishes are carried out. That’s why you need a health care power of attorney also (discussed later)."

To be honest? Based on my (limited) time in the ICU, from what I've seen, is that it is WAY more important to get on the same page as your spouse (or whoever you set up as your medical power of attorney). Situations ARE very distinct, hardly anything is 'textbook'. So it's important that your POA has a sense of what you would want, so that they can make a 'good guess' when you *can't* be specific. If that makes sense. Not that it isn't still a very good idea to have your advance directive (AD) in place, but it doesn't cover all situations for sure.

I've also read recommendations to have a little AD printed out in your wallet. I would add to this: for the love of all that is holy, if you take anything other than like... multivitamins... have a med list on you all the time!

So that's a good one to add: if your phone has one of those little "emergency ID" lock screens, put your meds on there! Especially any heart meds, insulin, stuff like that is super important. If an accident happens, it's likely some care will be provided before the medical provider can get in touch with your medical decision maker/family.

Ummm I might have gotten off topic. Still, hope some of that helps?
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dcamnc

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2017, 06:32:38 PM »
I have one of the nolo willmaker sets 95% done. I got hung up on some small details and never finished it. I plan to get on it during my next stretch off work.

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Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2017, 06:33:44 PM »
As a CFP(r), I want to urge people to use a trusts and estates attorney rather than an online will service. T&amp;E attorneys know the right questions to ask, and you don’t. Second, there are lots of small fiddly things about estate planning documents, and they vary considerably from state to state. This is NOT a place to cut corners.
As far as living wills or “five wishes” or POLST forms go, ask your MD. They probably have a form they are comfortable with. Fill it out, keep a copy with them, and make sure you have a copy in your bug-out bag.

lexde

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2017, 07:03:23 PM »
Yes, I need to do this! My living will is woefully out of date- lists an ex boyfriend =o And I've been married for years now! Plus, now that we have a mortgage, I would like to get life insurance sorted. We don't have kids, so the will is less of an issue, but there's still shit I need to sort!

Goals:
-Get a written list of all my accounts, (CC, bank, the two tiny freebie life insurance policies paid for by our credit union, investments, etc) so if anything happens to us it's all in one place
-Make sure beneficiaries on all my accounts are correct and updated
-Sort life insurance (gulp)
-Do living wills for husband and myself. (this should be easier, since we've already done the tough conversations part of it)

Hey, heath care person! Can you help me understand the scerarios in which an Advanced Directives would kick in. Here's what I understand:

1. Brain Dead = the brainstem is farked, unplugging is a no-brainer (snirt!) and death is guaranteed because even the basic reflex for breath and heart beat is gone.

2. Persistent Vegetative State  = Coma = brain is profoundly damaged, but brainstem will keep the heart and lungs going. The person might also laugh, grimace, or cry, but all higher cognitive functions have stopped. People who are going to wake generally do so within 4 weeks, however extreme outliers have been known to exist. People can exist in this state for years, but generally die from pneumonia and get terrible pressure sores.For PVS there's nothing to 'unplug,' because basic reflexes remain intact. The Advanced Directive will need to specify no hydration or nutrition???

3. End-stage terminal illness. Death is going to occur, so heroic measures are kind of dumb, but palliative care can be requested. Advanced Directive will need to specify no life saving treatment (dyalysis), and have do not resuscitate orders, but request comfort care?

4. Dementia. Sucks. Euthanasia is illegal, so plan one final international trip.

Am I missing any scenarios? Obviously I'm not looking for incredible specifics, just situations in which my body might keep going when my mind is gone.
Not Bracken_Joy, but...If you’re female, all of those items while pregnant, or whether pregnancy changes your directives.
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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #25 on: November 13, 2017, 07:44:01 PM »
I'm so guilty here. I tell my clients to do this, made up an extensive list for the instructions part, get other people to fill it out including my husband. But I haven't finished my portion yet.

POAs are good. Will is on the backburner as most of our assets transfer directly and neither of us care if we're both dead. Probably leaving a mess for someone though. I know we should get it done.
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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #26 on: November 13, 2017, 11:08:32 PM »
PTF so I don't lose this (will come back later, read and post).

Linda_Norway

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #27 on: November 14, 2017, 02:19:49 AM »
I am married without children. I expect us to be each other's beneficiaries. But I should double check.
We should make a will really, because if we don't have one and would die before our parents, our money would go to our parents who don't need it. So we should think of where we want to send our money in case both of us die.
As we live in a country where euthanasia is not allowed, we should also think of what we want to do in case of a big suffering decease.

The reason we don't have a will yet, is because you need witnesses to sign it. And I usually don't want to ask visiting friends to sign it. But maybe it is a triviality and I should just do it.

meerkat

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #28 on: November 14, 2017, 04:05:25 AM »
The reason we don't have a will yet, is because you need witnesses to sign it. And I usually don't want to ask visiting friends to sign it. But maybe it is a triviality and I should just do it.

We had to get ours notarized and signed by two witnesses. Luckily I work with several notaries so one day my husband met up with me at the end of the work day and a notary-friend grabbed two people from her department to be witnesses and we had a paperwork signing party. They didn't mind and were happy to help. They didn't read it in depth or anything, they were more just making sure that I was the one that had just scribbled in the signature spot rather than, I dunno, some stranger off the street trying to pretend to be me.

Which is a long-winded way of saying, if you're worried about it being awkward, it probably won't be. If you're worried about them being nosy and reading your will (the same way people start thumbing through all your pictures on your phone when you just wanted them to look at the one), maybe get someone else to sign instead or try to set it up so they just have to sign quickly and then you move into another room for snacks or whatever.
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Linda_Norway

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #29 on: November 14, 2017, 04:52:21 AM »
The reason we don't have a will yet, is because you need witnesses to sign it. And I usually don't want to ask visiting friends to sign it. But maybe it is a triviality and I should just do it.

We had to get ours notarized and signed by two witnesses. Luckily I work with several notaries so one day my husband met up with me at the end of the work day and a notary-friend grabbed two people from her department to be witnesses and we had a paperwork signing party. They didn't mind and were happy to help. They didn't read it in depth or anything, they were more just making sure that I was the one that had just scribbled in the signature spot rather than, I dunno, some stranger off the street trying to pretend to be me.

Which is a long-winded way of saying, if you're worried about it being awkward, it probably won't be. If you're worried about them being nosy and reading your will (the same way people start thumbing through all your pictures on your phone when you just wanted them to look at the one), maybe get someone else to sign instead or try to set it up so they just have to sign quickly and then you move into another room for snacks or whatever.

I am not worried about a friend reading the contents, I am just a bit embarrassed to bother them with it. Maybe I should just prepare a will before Christmas, as we will travel to meet the family at home. I think we need to sign in the presence of the witnesses.

meerkat

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #30 on: November 14, 2017, 05:39:21 AM »
Sigh. Yeah, we need to do this, too. What are everyone's thoughts on just using an online template and having it notarized?

Ideally you should go through an estate attorney and talk to them about your specific situation. You may mention one key word you don't think is important but they'll know they should ask follow up questions about xyz because it could impact how you want things arranged or what you need to do per your state's laws.

As a sort of compromise, I used a service called Legal Shield which was offered through my work. Membership for basic will services is $15/month I believe and they'll send you a booklet to fill out. Then you mail off the booklet to the law firm you've been assigned to and they'll send you back the documents with an instructional page about how to get them executed correctly per your state's laws. I had an exceptional situation and noted it in the booklet basically asking them to call me and I think I had a call center rep call me first and I arranged to speak with a lawyer about the issue later that day. I was able to discuss my situation with an actual lawyer and in my case I did not need further paperwork but if I had it would have been outside of what the membership covered. The Legal Shield service would have been happy to recommend someone for the additional stuff, of course, but at that point I would have strongly preferred talking to someone face to face and their recommendations would have been in a major city several hours away from me. If I hadn't made that note in my booklet I would never have talked to an actual human about our situation, which is not a good thing when you're dealing with something as serious as this.

Even just having the booklet prompted some unexpected questions between myself and my husband, and we're generally on the same page when it comes to our ideas of acceptable end of life care and burial practices.

The reason we don't have a will yet, is because you need witnesses to sign it. And I usually don't want to ask visiting friends to sign it. But maybe it is a triviality and I should just do it.

We had to get ours notarized and signed by two witnesses. Luckily I work with several notaries so one day my husband met up with me at the end of the work day and a notary-friend grabbed two people from her department to be witnesses and we had a paperwork signing party. They didn't mind and were happy to help. They didn't read it in depth or anything, they were more just making sure that I was the one that had just scribbled in the signature spot rather than, I dunno, some stranger off the street trying to pretend to be me.

Which is a long-winded way of saying, if you're worried about it being awkward, it probably won't be. If you're worried about them being nosy and reading your will (the same way people start thumbing through all your pictures on your phone when you just wanted them to look at the one), maybe get someone else to sign instead or try to set it up so they just have to sign quickly and then you move into another room for snacks or whatever.

I am not worried about a friend reading the contents, I am just a bit embarrassed to bother them with it. Maybe I should just prepare a will before Christmas, as we will travel to meet the family at home. I think we need to sign in the presence of the witnesses.

Don't feel embarrassed! You're not bothering them with some unimportant task, you're asking them to do you the honor of helping make sure your last wishes are taken care of. I'd be careful about doing it at Christmas though, it's possible that people who are related to you by blood or marriage are not eligible to be witnesses.
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Sailor Sam

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #31 on: November 14, 2017, 10:34:00 AM »
As a CFP(r), I want to urge people to use a trusts and estates attorney rather than an online will service. T&amp;E attorneys know the right questions to ask, and you don’t. Second, there are lots of small fiddly things about estate planning documents, and they vary considerably from state to state. This is NOT a place to cut corners.
As far as living wills or “five wishes” or POLST forms go, ask your MD. They probably have a form they are comfortable with. Fill it out, keep a copy with them, and make sure you have a copy in your bug-out bag.

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Meadow Lark

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #32 on: November 14, 2017, 12:10:39 PM »
Filled out my forms today. 
My Healthcare Directive says comfort care only (if my MD believes me to be terminal, of course).  I promise to do it the right way with a lawyer if Stingray passes, or I expect to die soon, or I am 70 or over.  Not letting perfect be the enemy of good.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 12:13:28 PM by Meadow Lark »

SisterX

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #33 on: November 14, 2017, 12:38:07 PM »
PTF, because as parents this is something we need to do. However, HusbandX signed up for the life insurance offered through his company so we're good to go on that. (If I died he'd be pretty well set in terms of income. The opposite would not be true currently, and probably not until BabyX, still in utero, is in or beyond preschool.)

Jessa

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #34 on: November 14, 2017, 05:45:44 PM »
I went to HR and got the card today to call about getting supplemental life insurance. (The company automatically insures me for 2x my annual salary, but I'm not sure how long that would really take care of Husband and Tiny Sparkles without me. ) I didn't actually call yet, but...baby steps.

pbkmaine

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #35 on: November 14, 2017, 08:08:44 PM »
As a CFP(r), I want to urge people to use a trusts and estates attorney rather than an online will service. T&amp;E attorneys know the right questions to ask, and you don’t. Second, there are lots of small fiddly things about estate planning documents, and they vary considerably from state to state. This is NOT a place to cut corners.
As far as living wills or “five wishes” or POLST forms go, ask your MD. They probably have a form they are comfortable with. Fill it out, keep a copy with them, and make sure you have a copy in your bug-out bag.

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Astatine

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #36 on: November 15, 2017, 12:49:53 AM »
Still reading through and catching up but wanted to reply to this when I read it.

To be honest? Based on my (limited) time in the ICU, from what I've seen, is that it is WAY more important to get on the same page as your spouse (or whoever you set up as your medical power of attorney). Situations ARE very distinct, hardly anything is 'textbook'. So it's important that your POA has a sense of what you would want, so that they can make a 'good guess' when you *can't* be specific. If that makes sense. Not that it isn't still a very good idea to have your advance directive (AD) in place, but it doesn't cover all situations for sure.

I've also read recommendations to have a little AD printed out in your wallet. I would add to this: for the love of all that is holy, if you take anything other than like... multivitamins... have a med list on you all the time!

So that's a good one to add: if your phone has one of those little "emergency ID" lock screens, put your meds on there! Especially any heart meds, insulin, stuff like that is super important. If an accident happens, it's likely some care will be provided before the medical provider can get in touch with your medical decision maker/family.

Not a medical person but recently went through cancer treatment (surgery, chemo, radiation) and had a young friend die from cancer a year ago (young = early 30s).

I agree completely with BJ. I haven't got round to doing an advanced care directive yet but I have had MANY conversations with DH about my wishes if the worst were to happen.

A really important part of planning for this is getting comfortable with talking with your loved ones about the possibility of you or your loved one getting horribly sick or dying or whatever. It's unfun but necessary. DH used to turn pale (literally) if I even broached the subject of getting a will because he couldn't cope with thinking about me dying. But, I've perservered and he's now fine with fully frank and open conversations about end of life, dying and so on. I'm comfortable he knows that if I'm dying from cancer or have a severe brain injury, I do not want any heroics. Just let me go.

And +1 to keeping an up to date list of meds and critical medical conditions in your phone (and send a copy to your loved one for them to save into notes or something on their phone - DH has read out my meds more than once to emergency docs when I've been too sick to give a full medical history myself).

firelight

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #37 on: November 15, 2017, 01:13:03 AM »
PTF. We recently signed up for legal assistance through work and 2018 will be the year we sort it all out. We don't have a house or any real estate but have only liquid assets. Would a will be needed or can I just make my husband (and then my mom) the beneficiary so they get the money after I'm gone?

Linda_Norway

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #38 on: November 15, 2017, 03:38:05 AM »
I just googled to see what a testament should look like. I read that the witnesses may not be people who can benefit from the will. So not close relatives. I think therefore that writing our will should not be connected to travelling to family at Christmas.
But I also read that the living spouse only inherits half of the money, if the closest relatives are family. This is Norwegian specific law. So we really need to write a will so that DH and I will inherit from each other in case one of us dies. I don't want to risk half our money to be given away to relatives while the other one lives. We need to hurry. And then invite friends over to sign the testaments with us. What happens when both of us die later of less concern. Maybe we will think of some charity or make a trust fund.
It also said on the website that the witnesses don't need to see the contents. They just need to see that you are signing you will. You can put a sheet over the contents.
This was just the part about inheriting the fortune. I read that you can save the will wherever you want in a safe place, but you can also deposit it at a court for a fee. Then it will be found in case of death.

I will also investigate what I need to do to write down my medical wishes.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2017, 03:41:05 AM by Linda_Norway »

Astatine

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #39 on: November 15, 2017, 03:52:46 AM »
DH and I got our wills and POA done a couple of years ago. I got a recommendation for a good solicitor from another MMMer. She was excellent and I'm glad we went with her. Leaving everything to each other was the easy bit. Working out what we wanted to do if both of us die was a bit trickier - we knew what we wanted but didn't know how to write it up in a watertight way. I think it's cheap not frugal to buy a will kit instead of going to a good solicitor.

My gauntlet will have to be quite modest because I don't have many spoons at the moment:

- set up a bug out bag before the bushfire season fully hits - aim for end of November
- finalise our bushfire plan (I've downloaded the local app for fire plans and the app for showing nearby fires on my phone but haven't actually, you know, filled out the plan) - aim for end of November
- change my name on the mortgage and house title to my new name (I changed my name 4 years ago) - aim for end of year
- once I've changed the name on the house title, change my name on the utility bills (electricity, gas and water/sewage) - end of January

AccidentialMustache

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #40 on: November 15, 2017, 05:56:13 AM »
PTF...

Jessa

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #41 on: November 15, 2017, 12:37:01 PM »
I called the insurance company this morning. Waited on hold 10 minutes, gave up. Called back during lunch, gave them a call back number to return my call when they get a chance....that was an hour and a half ago. Not sure they want my business.

I'm figuring I need term life insurance, because the main concern is ensuring that Husband can afford the mortgage, insurance, and child care for Tiny Sparkles (and potential sibling) if I die unexpectedly in the next few years. My first thought is that 10 year term is probably fine, because we'll have a bigger stache and the kid(s) will only need before/afterschool care rather than full day. But maybe I should do 20 year, because by then they will both be out of the house? (Tiny Sparkles and imaginary second child)

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #42 on: November 15, 2017, 12:46:14 PM »
Jessa, you can also stagger them. Get a 10 and 20 year policy, each for half the amount you really want. That way in years 1-10 you're covered for the full amount you want now and then in years 11-20 you have some insurance but not too much.     

When I got quotes, it was for a whole array of term policy values and timeframes, and I from there I put together exactly the package I wanted and was the best value.

Jessa

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #43 on: November 15, 2017, 12:49:39 PM »
Jessa, you can also stagger them. Get a 10 and 20 year policy, each for half the amount you really want. That way in years 1-10 you're covered for the full amount you want now and then in years 11-20 you have some insurance but not too much.     

When I got quotes, it was for a whole array of term policy values and timeframes, and I from there I put together exactly the package I wanted and was the best value.

Oooh, good call! Thanks!

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #44 on: November 15, 2017, 12:52:14 PM »
Spouse and I have done almost none of this stuff. We had the living will forms from our former MD and never filled them out. Now we have a new MD and he never mentions it.

I need to ask my sister and/or mom for a lawyer referral. Funnily enough, I used to work in the legal field, but I don't know anyone in it anymore who might do me a favor and cut me a break on price!

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #45 on: November 15, 2017, 02:22:33 PM »
I made an appointment with JAG for the 27th. And I've filled out all the paperwork for Last Will & Testament, Living Will, and Springing POA for both general and heath care.

I check marked being a organ donor, but explicitly stated in capital letters than I REALLY DON'T WANT MY FACE PEELED OFF AND PUT ON SOMEONE ELSE. Skin for grafting is cool, but for gawdsakes don't peel my face off. kthxbye.

Progress! 

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #46 on: November 15, 2017, 03:28:20 PM »
Ashamed to admit we have three kids 7,10,11 and no will in place at all.

Would it be okay to use something like legal zoom as a stopgap until we could afford a proper attorney? Our situation is not complex, not sure what the cost difference is. (Obviously this varies by law firm and market.)
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ACyclist

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #47 on: November 15, 2017, 04:56:06 PM »
I am so embarrassed.  No wills in place.  Net worth close to $500K  We do have some small life insurance policies, in the event of <gulp>  death.

Talking about death is very difficult for me.  So scary. 

BTW, no kids in the house, so we have that going for us.

topshot

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #48 on: November 15, 2017, 05:59:03 PM »
Talking about death is very difficult for me.  So scary.
What's so scary about death?

ACyclist

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Re: Get Your Shit Together! Wills, living wills, POAs, life insurance, etc.
« Reply #49 on: November 15, 2017, 10:21:43 PM »
Talking about death is very difficult for me.  So scary.
What's so scary about death?

...end game.  I don't like thinking about the end of the game.