Suppose yesterday's sunrise was the last that you're to s
and that you're to die before tomorrow's.
Have you made a will?
If not, the path is a lot longer and much more complicated and expensive between now and the time that your beneficiaries may receive the proceeds of your (much smaller) estate.
A pain in the butt, one might say.
Yet - about half of the citizens die that way.
Each territorial government has a plan as to how each of its intestate resident's/your assets are to be distributed, that varies depending on the types of surviving relatives that they/you have.
It may not split your assets in a way that you'd approve of - but your chance to have any say in the matter is, shall we say, dead.
More income for the government (but they'll be doing quite a bit of work that wasn't necessary to get it sorted out).
Is it easy to find your will? Is there an earlier will that one of the beneficiaries may have which was more generous to that person than your latest one? Is there a possibility that that person might be the one that might find the latest one - and could arrange for it to disappear?
Usually your lawyer will have a copy of the latest will.
If you don't have a will - good idea to sit down now and write out what you want done with your assets. In some jurisdictions, such a will must be all handwritten to be legal. Better to have your signature witnessed, though usually not necessary for such a will.
Can your survivors/executor find easily a dated and signed list of all of your assets, including deeds for property(-ies) and all data relative to them, list of all bank accounts, stock broker accounts, insurance policies, loans to individuals (including paperwork) and any other asset that you may own? And where to find them.
Is there a list, dated and signed, of who is to get what item of your auto(s), home, furniture, cottage, boat, personal property, clothing, etc.?
More than one copy of each of the above, and held by more than one person?
Have you planned to leave some of your assets to various medical, socially helpful, educational, community and religious charities?
I would like to ask you to consider some international charities - for there are millions of refugees and homeless people spread across the world - no home, no job, unable to find food for your kid(s) some days or afford fees to send him/her/them to school, or for medical care, when needed.
In some countries of Africa, about a fifth or a quarter of the population suffers from AIDS - imagine the huge numbers of orphans that there will soon be in those areas.
Suggestion: before you make the will, have a consultation with a financial advisor/lawyer who knows about the tax implications of what you want to do, and how to achieve your wishes with the least tax consequences.
Confession time: Age 75 yesterday, I've been a personal financial advisor for nigh on twenty years - and haven't made more than a will written on the back of an envelope, myself.
My kids, brother and sister-in-law, etc. give me heck for it.
Must get it done.
So should you.
And if you have a spouse, arrange for eventuality in case whichever of you dies first.
Good wishes for a long, happy, healthy, prosperous life. And good friends and some interesting things to do.