Suppose yesterday's sunrise was the last that you're to s

joyfulguyFebruary 1, 2004

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.

joyful guy/Ed

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It is best to pick a time when you are feeling great and on top of the world. Don't wait until you feel like there is no tomorrow.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2004 at 12:11AM
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Something written on a scrap of paper and the signature witnessed is better than nothing...not a lot better but still better......

    Bookmark   February 11, 2004 at 10:26AM
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Ed, I'm surprised that you don't have a will!

DH & I have had them since just after we got married. We also have Healthcare Powers of Attorney for each other & both of us have done Living Wills. I guess this shows the financial planner coming out in me - that was one of my minors in college.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2004 at 6:30PM
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like I said - confession time.

It embarrasses me.

What is that story about the cobbler's kids having holes in their shoes?

joyful - the financial advisor guy that seems to dislike eating his own cooking

    Bookmark   February 27, 2004 at 7:40PM
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We don't have a will, but everything is by right of survivorship, so the surviving spouse will be ok if one dies. The problem will be if we die together, then a will will be needed. When my brother in law died, his wife mentioned the estate to her lawyer and he said there is no estate, "You owned it before he died and you own it now". I would have a will but my husband won't. It's sad to say, but we really have no one we can trust to be the executor.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2004 at 6:59PM
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Remember the old expression, "Where there's a will ... there's a way"?

Maybe an update should be,

"Be sure to make a will ... before you go away"!

I hope that everyone's enjoying the fall.

joyful guy

    Bookmark   October 22, 2004 at 5:23PM
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Further confession - this thread was made a long time ago.

I still haven't made a will.

My daughter, whom I wished to choose for executor, was abroad (Arizona is abroad, isn't it?) then - but she came back home to Canada a year ago last fall.

Her mother, who chose to live on her own over 30 years ago and as head dietitian in a hospital for over 20 years fed millions of people, died last summer, after almost a year fighting (ironically) colon cancer.

My good friend, who retired a few years ago from operating a milk delivery route, went on a holiday a little over a couple of weeks ago from here in the Great Lakes area to the west coast.

Arrived back home late last Friday night (1:00 a.m. Sat. morning) after having driven more miles each of the days on the return journey. On Sat. morning his wife was making breakfast, he visited bathroom, thump in bathroom, wife went to investigate, accusied him of fooling her, she was getting scared. He was dead - massive heart attack.

They asked me, as a former clergyperson (25 years ago) to officiate at his funeral - yesterday.

Personal financial advisor for about 20 years - now, at 76, pretty well retired.

Do you think that I'll get the message and make a will ...

... now?

Stupid if I don't.

joyful guy

    Bookmark   May 12, 2005 at 12:36PM
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I would be grateful if I had seen my last sunrise..please God let it be..

    Bookmark   May 28, 2005 at 4:18PM
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Dear Donnakt,

Don't mean to intrude, or pry into your affairs ...

... but ...

if your life is so unbearable that you'd rather not see another sunrise ...

... there are a lot of folks here who'd listen empathetically should you care to share some of your pain.

Many have found a good deal of love and caring, here.

Yes, and prayers, as well.

If God is important to you, I pray the His/Her Spirit may bring some healing and peace to the various parts of your life that need them.

joyful guy - most of the time

    Bookmark   May 30, 2005 at 7:52PM
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I don't expect everyone to understand my situation, but some may. My husband of nearly 50 years passed away in April..only two months ago. I cannot pull my self together as it has been sugested and I cry most of the time. We were always together, I have no life with out him. Our children all live in other I am here by myself and I am existing..not living. That is way I wish I had seen my last sunrise. Thanks joyful guy..

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 9:47AM
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Donna - of Kitchen Table fame,

It is extremely difficult to lose one's mate.

Your usual friends will want you to get on with your life - they won't want to hear your stories (more than) half a dozen times.

Some years ago, after my wife's departure, I attended a group of Parents Without Partners. It was a fairly new group, and we became great friends, though we were very different people. Many of us felt that we had instant acceptance, there - as everyone else knew what we were going through.

After a while, everyone went their own way - but some years later, when we attended one another's funerals, etc., and if we had a get together, or just met one of the others during normal living, there was a big smile and a handshake, often a hug, exchanged - we'd gone through hell together.

My ex- died last summer, as a matter of fact - after 33 years apart and only minimal commuication. Our young uns are clearing out the house that was home to them for a number of years, though not recently (the youngest hit the big 40 last fall).

Do you know whether there are any groups for recently bereaved persons in your area?

You might find some companionship and empathetic people there. The ones who have lost a loved one recently will have an open wound, so to speak, as you do. The ones whose bereavement took place longer ago can still understand your pain.

Maybe ask in local churches, synagogues, mosques, comunity agencies, health-related agencies. Or, perhaps some funeral homes, etc. whether there may be such groups - and where to find them.

If not, some of those agencies may know of people who might like to consider joining such a group, and some of them might be interested in facilitating such a group's formation.

Doing such inquiries would get you busy doing something worthwhile, also.

As I said once to someone, "You feel as though someone just cut your leg off".

That person looked at me and asked how I knew.

I replied that I'd been there.

Feel free to come back and share with us, Donna.

Quite a number of people at the Kitchen Table forum ask for one another's help and there is a great spirit of fellowship and concern expressed, by many, there.

One of my best friends died a few weeks ago and the family asked me to officiate at the funeral.

I've visited with them several times, since.

His wife is beginning to become used to her being independent, now.

Quite a number of bereavement counsellors advise people recently bereaved to try to avoid making major decisions for a time - for often, after life settles down some and they feel somewhat more back to normal, they may regret them.

Good wishes for the days ahead.

ole joyful

P.S. I think that my email address is available - send me a message if you feel so inclined.

o j

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 4:46PM
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if i die it goes to my wife, if she dies it goes to me, if we both die, then we can sit up there and get a laugh out of the greedy relatives we dont, know fighting over whatever we didnt spend on ourselves. we had talked about something off the wall, like leaving it all to the dog, or to some group everyone hates.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2005 at 4:54AM
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bill h,

Haven't you found a way to take it with you?

We used to tease my old (step-)uncle that he was looking for such a path (he had no kids).

His only other sibling, a sister, my step-Mom (with whom he was not too friendly) had only one daughter, so when she and Dad married, we three boys got a ready-made sister out of that deal.

He left some to her, some to me, some to some relatives - and a substantial amount to various charities, including a hospital where his first wife died and he met his second wife, who'd worked there.

As I used to rather humourously tell my congregations, "I've never seen a Brinks truck in a funeral procession, yet. But I know what'll likely happen, the first time that I do".

And left it at that - few ever asked what would happen.

A few of the local youths would note the procession, prick up their ears, climb into their cars and follow the it.

And an hour later would be in the local harware store, buying a gas lantern and a shovel.

But the old gal was far ahead of them - a ready-mix concrete truck had visited the site just after the young fellows' departure.

Have a great week, everyone.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 3:49PM
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i suppose i could buy a few collector stamps then have our ashes mailed across the country. kinda like taking it with us, but with gas prices, prob. wont be any to take. haha

    Bookmark   September 3, 2005 at 2:00AM
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bill h,

Question: Do you know what happened to the guy who smoked in bed?

Answer: He made an ash of himself.

Don't be in a hurry to make an ash of yourself - whether through smoking in bed or otherwise: we need you around here for a while yet.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   September 7, 2005 at 5:19PM
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