R.I.P. with a Signed and Notarized Will

Inspiration can come from funny places. I was in a Lowe’s the other day looking for paint, and I thought it was a bit odd to see so many giant inflatable yard decorations for Halloween. In the midst of the display was a frankenstein, a grim reaper driving a carriage, a gargoyle, and puffy R.I.P. gravestones. Cheery, huh. Nevertheless, with my daughter smiling in the shopping cart in front of me, I had a brief, yet creepy notion about my own mortality. “I need to add a section on wills & estate planning to Kim’s Finds”. No one in our generation has a will, unless you are Larry Page & Sergey Brin. However, the truth is, we all need one, regardless of our wealth. Who will take care of your children?  How will your assets be distributed? And what are your care-taking wishes should you become incapacitated?  Most people don’t need a lawyer to do this either. Just buy some self-help legal software to draft your will (a lawyer’s office would do the very same thing!), print, have two witnesses sign it (three if you live in Vermont), and voila! …your will be done. There is no legal requirement of notary signing for your will (though it is a good idea), and there is no requirement that you register your will with the court. However, here’s the catch…there actually is a requirement that you grab your spouse or a trusted advisor…and follow through with this morbidly important task. Then you can R.I.P.

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