Last Will and Testament by Flickr user Ken_Mayer (CC BY 2.0)

Last Will and Testament by Flickr user Ken_Mayer (CC BY 2.0)

When I first had a kid, my ex-husband and I put together our wills. At the very least, we needed to settle who would take care of the kids if something happened to both of us. It was also a good time and place to specify if we had certain items that we wanted to go to anyone other than each other or the kids. I think we managed to add on to it when we had the second kid, but my will has remained unchanged since then.

Since I’m now divorced, and I also now have Rory, I decided it was definitely time to redo my will and to also do all the other end-of-life paperwork, such as a living will and final arrangements, everything you want to happen if you’re near or at death. Rory and I haven’t known each other for too long, so I wanted to make sure he knew about my wishes.

Also, I strongly suggested that he do the same, that he make a will and take care of all of the other legal paperwork. He agreed, and also put it together. It is very important to him that certain of his things go to certain people, so it wasn’t hard to talk him into it.

Why write a will? If you have any opinion about what happens to your money or your stuff when you die, you need a will. If you have no will, your stuff will likely go to your spouse, if you’re married, or your kids, if you’re not. Or maybe a combination. I’m sure it depends on the state. But what if you have no spouse or kids? Who is your next of kin? What if you don’t want any of your stuff going to a certain Aunt Mildred or Nephew Jim? Just make a will. Then you won’t wonder.

It doesn’t have to be expensive. I’m using WillMaker, then just getting everything notarized.

What else do you need other than your will? If you care what happens to you after you die, take care of your final arrangements. Do you want to be buried or cremated? Do you want a funeral? Where do you want your ashes scattered? Do you want a certain kind of ceremony held? You can specify all of that.

What about if you end up in a coma, or with a terminal illness? With a living will, you can specify what you want to happen if you are alive but unable to make decisions for yourself.

In addition to all of those really useful bits of paperwork, WillMaker can also help you organize your financial information to make it easier for your family members and will executor to take care of things. You can leave your passwords, account numbers, locations of documents, and more, all listed in another document.

Why do any of this? You’ll be dead, right? What does it matter? Well, with your living will, you won’t be dead yet. And for the rest, you care about your family, right? You don’t want to give them a really difficult task once you’re gone, do you? If you’re an adult, but especially if you have your own family, do yourself and everyone else a favor and make a will and other end-of-life documents, and be sure to notarize them properly. Hopefully it will be a long time before they are needed, but it will bring everyone peace of mind if they are there.