A PLACE TO LEARN THE BASICS OF FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT – BY WOMEN FOR WOMEN

Posts tagged ‘end of life’

Wills and End of Life Documents

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When I used to meet with financial services clients and potential clients, the first thing I would ask is “Do you have a will or wills?”  Many couples assume they will have a joint will.  Not true, a will reflects the wishes of an individual.  Sometimes the answer was “yes”.  More often the answer was “no”.  Those saying “no” would add something like:

  • It is too expensive.
  • We have a software application for wills, just need to get find time to learn the system and get it done.
  • It’s on the list of things to do but first I need to get through Christmas, graduation, school, or wait until I have a vacation, or……
  • We can’t agree on who should be responsible for our children if we both are deceased and we don’t want to upset family members with our choice.
  • I don’t believe in wills.  No need for one, everything will work out.
  • I know I need one but I think if I get one then somehow it means I will die earlier.
  • Death is just too emotional to think about and preparing a will  just makes me nervous.
  • I think I need a trust and that costs a lot so I will wait until I save up some money and then get the trust, will and all the other documents at the same time

Clearly expense is the most often mentioned reason for the lack of a will.  However, there are now very affordable and reliable methods of having a professionally prepared will created and finalized.  With a little research you can learn more.

I have no brilliant  and happy way of encouraging people to get wills.  As I said in earlier posts, wills and life insurance (if needed) are two things we do for those we leave behind.  So rather than thinking about how having your will and other end of life documents prepared and executed impact you, think about the other folks in your life.  How will your actions reflect on you after you are gone?

In my book, Financial Freedom Party for Women, A Little Book about Money for Women, I state that it is estimated that 55% of the people in the U.S. do not have wills.  Or, on a positive note, 45% do have them.  In which category do you find yourself?

I found this article from Huffington Post to be a great example of how things can go a little crazy if the proper documents aren’t in place when a family member dies.  Please take the time to read it.

I hope you will share this posting with those in your life.  Some people appear to be very literate about personal financial management, are highly successful professionally, or seem to have it all together.  That doesn’t mean they have all their legal documents in place.  You could end up sorting out things you thought would be in order.  Happens a lot and it is not a good big surprise. So be brave and check in with those around you and see if they are a 55% or 45% person.

Soon we will be moving beyond end of life documents such as wills, and on to more exciting topics like finance (aka investing).

Until next time.

Debra Hadsall

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www.financialfreedomparty.com

Begin with the End in Mind-Life Insurance

I have listened to many people talk about their personal finances over the last 15 years. From that I learned a lot  about the emotions involved in financial management.

Emotions can often stand in the way of getting things accomplished.  They can also be a major reason a person takes responsiblity and action. I have seen how emotions can be useful or hurtful.

The emotions attached to discussions about life insurance and end-of-life documents  (such as wills, durable power of attorneys, living wills, etc.) are, for some people, very strong and paralyzing.  I always tell anyone who will listen that these are things we do for those we leave behind.  If we are gone and haven’t taken care of these things, we can’t reach from the grave and fix them.

If we don’t plan well for retirement, if we don’t manage our debt appropriately, if we don’t budget successfully, we  personally suffer.  That is our choice or decision and we will have to deal with it.  Putting our survivors in a financially difficult or legally unclear position  is unfair to them. They may suffer  and be forced into dealing with legal or financial matters over which they had no say or control.  Difficult things to deal with during a time of loss.

Life insurance is a product which is sold, not bought.  That is what I was taught when I first started selling life insurance.  I didn’t really “get it” until I started meeting with potential clients.  It became quite clear that hardly anyone calls up and asks to buy life insurance.  Once again, all those emotions tied to death, insurance and money.  Add to that, the confusion about how life insurance works and fears of some unsavory past practices of some in the industry.  Now,  not everyone needs life insurance, but I believe everyone needs to go through the analytical process of determining if she or he needs it.

In my book, Financial Freedom Party for Women, A Little Book about Money for Women, I talk about life insurance and have included a quote which seems to give a valuable perspective on the value of life insurance.  This may be more meaningful to you than a long lecture about insurance.

A life insurance policy is just a time-yellowed piece of paper with columns of figures and legal phrases, until it is baptized with a loved one’s tears. Then it becomes a modern miracle – Aladdin’s Lamp. It is food, clothing, shelter, and undying affection. It is the sincerest love-letter ever written.

It quiets the crying of a hungry baby in the night. It eases the aching heart of the one who remains behind – a comforting whisper, in the dark and silent hours. It is a new hope, fresh courage and strength to pick up broken threads and carry on. It is a college education for the son or daughter – a chance for a career instead of a need of a job. It is a parent’s blessing to a daughter on her wedding day.

Author Unknown

Until next time

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Parties and Finance…and Wills?

I have a long-time friend who will be referred by her initials, LKC. 

LKC was the first hostess of a Financial Freedom Party for Women.  We also refer to it as FFP.

I loved it when she experienced a FFP  and said the only thing she didn’t like was the fact that there weren’t enough women there.  She wanted more women to learn, have fun, and gain confidence in their personal financial management.  The topics of life insurance, long-term care insurance, investing, debt, income management, budgeting, end- of- life documents, goal setting ,and other financial management topics just didn’t seem so boring when shared with other women in a warm friendly environment.

Knowing how much I believe in the power of women learning and supporting each other, she emailed me an article.  It is titled “From Grief Comes A Mission To Make Estate Planning Less Daunting”  I hope you will take a moment and read it.  Just click here to learn more.

More to come later about the important and often emotional subject of end-of-life documents, including wills.

registeredlogowww.financialfreedomparty.com

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