Thursday Tidbits

Posted on July 16, 2020 under Thursday Tidbits with no comments yet

The sunset years

(Pete MacDonald photo)

 

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Quick question.

How long are you going to live?

Will you make it to 60? 70? 80? 90? 100? 110?

What are the odds of you surviving forever?

This is pretty heady stuff for Week45. You’re used to a pretty steady diet of the trivial and the mundane. Most of the 1127 stories I’ve posted to date are lighthearted. They are (mercifully) short and easily digestible. My guess is that, on average, it takes my readers less than a third of a cup of coffee to get through one of my posts. Very rarely do I delve into the serious, or god forbid, the philosophical but just to keep you on your toes and to prevent ennui, I occasionally throw in the odd curve ball.

Today is one of those times.

I just updated my Will, Power of Attorney, and Personal Directive.                    

Ok. You can hit the snooze button or go and watch The Sopranos. If you’re a reader, might I suggest “Where the Crawdads Sing”. I have given you options.

Unless you beat astronomical odds, you will die someday.

Disclaimer: I am NOT a lawyer.

I am going to use this space today to have a little chat about estate planning. No. I’m not suggesting you purchase 1000 acres of land and build a “Southfork” style mansion and ranch. Cue the Dallas theme music.

Preparing for life’s inevitabilities is one of those unselfish acts. It’s really not about you. It’s about your family and those you care about. Hopefully you will grow old gracefully and die in the departure lounge of an airport, heading off to some exotic location. “And I was thinking to myself, this could be heaven, or this could be hell”. (Hotel California – The Eagles)!

A will is a legal document that sets forth your wishes regarding the distribution of your property at the time of your death. This could include things like real estate, investments, life insurance proceeds, or prized possessions. If you die without a will, this is known as intestacy in which case your assets then become the responsibility of a probate court. Most people I know would rather decide on how their worldly possessions are handled than a court. Speaking of prized possessions, I am quite certain that my heirs will not fight over my two guitars, my Boston Marathon medals, or my food saver. Well, maybe the food saver!

There are certain events that usually cause someone to consider getting a will. An impending marriage, the birth of a child, starting a new business, selling a business, separation and divorce, the death of a spouse, or a health scare. The list is much longer but you get the point. You can prepare a “do it yourself” will with a will kit or get a lawyer to do it. But as Nike says “Just do it”.

While a will is a vital part of an estate plan, a Power of Attorney (POA) is equally important. Let’s face it, when you die, you won’t have to deal with the aftermath. A POA is a legal document that you sign to give one or more persons the authority to manage your money and property on your behalf… while you’re still alive and kicking. Most often, but not always, a POA is used when a person is no longer mentally or physically competent to handle their own affairs. I personally believe that most of us would like to choose someone we trust with this important task. If you don’t appoint someone, it will be decided for you. In some cases, the person who ends up with this duty is not necessarily the person you would have chosen if you were of sound mind and sound body. While I believe everyone should have a POA, single people, especially single people with children might want to consider this.

A Personal Directive is a written document in which you give someone the power to make decisions about your personal care should you become unable to make these decisions yourself. This could include matters of health care, nursing home admittance, and end of life issues. This is another very important document. You want to be secure in the knowledge that if your health fails, you have someone you trust who will make important decisions for you. Again, without this document, you are at the mercy and goodwill of family or friends.

Have you had enough? I thought so but every once in a while, it’s worthwhile to deal with things that make us feel a tad uncomfortable like facing our golden years and our mortality.

As someone once said, the only thing golden about the golden years is the color of your pee!

Have a great weekend… if I haven’t depressed you too much!

P.S. On a lighter note. I went for my annual medical checkup yesterday. Apparently I’m firing on all cylinders. I was cringing waiting to hear the results of my cholesterol level. After nearly four months of unrestrained eating and the odd beer and glass of wine (!), my cholesterol went DOWN! May I recommend coconut cream pie rather than Crestor!!!

Tri Mac Toyota!
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