J.D. of Get Rich Slowly had two great articles on money management this past week. The first was about estate planning. The very first step was writing a will. Which would you rather have determine the guardianship of your children and your money – the state or your will? Farther down on the list is writing a document outlining your financial household. Anyone who handles your will needs to know where papers are, like your will, who your creditors are, and anything else about your finances that gets resolved with your death or inability to take care of your finances.
2012 – Years ago, when our oldest was born, we sat down with my stepfather who is an estate lawyer to write our wills and determine guardianship of our only child. Today, we’re in a slightly different financial position since we own a home and have more assets. We also have 5 children, one of whom is 16.
Today, we’ve lost touch with one of the possible guardians of our children. We’ve seen another one make financial choices we didn’t agree with, and our parenting philosophy is different. We’ve also witnessed how extended family handles money and handles disputes within the larger family. Sadly, we’re long overdue for a serious discussion about the executor of our estate and the guardianship of our children.
When I approached my husband about this topic a few years ago, he got upset and didn’t want to talk about it. A lot of spouses are not comfortable talking about these issues. There could be unresolved issues with their family of origin. They could have their own money issues. They may not be comfortable dealing with their own mortality.
The other article is for those who inherit money or other large windfalls. J.D. focused on a friend of his who inherited a large sum of money recently. Her first step was to set aside money for taxes. As Mark Twain said, taxes and death are inevitable, so why not take care of the taxes first before making a plan for the rest of the windfall. Joan’s next step was to put her money into a savings account and sit on it while she spent time on a plan for using the money. Notice, she didn’t spend the money without a plan, and she didn’t rush herself in creating a plan.
Patience and planning.
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