Where There’s a Will

Jonathan Clements

ESTATE PLANNING is easy for most folks—but many don’t bother. Surveys regularly find that half of all adults don’t have a will. Yet a will, the right beneficiaries listed on retirement accounts and life insurance, and correct titling on property (such as the house you own jointly with your spouse with right of survivorship) are all most of us need.

Sure, there are other niceties, like drawing up durable powers of attorney for financial and health-care matters, getting a revocable living trust to avoid probate, and writing a letter of last instruction.

But in terms of making sure your stuff ends up with the right people, everything should be in order if you have a will, the right beneficiary designations and correct titling on jointly owned property.

And getting a will is neither expensive nor difficult. You can create one online for less than the cost of dinner out. Once you’ve drawn up a will, you’ll need to get it notarized. I went to the local UPS Store. It cost a whopping $2.

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