No one wants to talk about it. It is the 900 lb. gorilla in the room. Chris Kyle thought that after all he’d been through, he had years before he needed to have the conversation.
Should the disposition of your assets be a concern? “No way. I won’t be here, so what do I care?”
You should care. Do you have specific wishes that you want followed? Do you want to make sure that your family properly disburses your funds, your stuff? Do you think they won’t fight over it? Or that instead of your millions of dollars in insurance money going to your favorite animal shelter, it goes to your nephew who is building his video game empire or online gambling habits?
Wills are an important way to convey those wishes in a legally-binding manner. It lays out the specifics and gives your family direction on your wishes. Planning ahead can prevent a lot of family fights.
There are a lot of examples of what happens when you don’t take the time and do some estate planning with your financial advisers, attorney or insurance team. Let’s talk about Chris Kyle.
Chris died tragically at the hands of a veteran with suffering with PTSD. At the time of his death, Chris was finally getting to a good place in his life and was dealing with his own demons.
It was Chris’ wish that the proceeds from the book and the film go to helping veterans and their families.
This is a great wish and what could possibly be the problem?
Chris Kyle had no will or any other estate planning in place to make sure those wishes were followed up on after his death. His widow, Taya, has been accused of not following his wishes and those accusations have led to a lawsuit.
A will would have erased any doubts about Chris’ wishes after he was gone. Simple as that. People tend to think that they don’t have enough to have a will in place, but there are so many details such as children, property and money that need to be laid out for legal purposes. If not, the next step post-funeral is for everything to go into probate and the judge makes decisions.
There is a basic human resistance to making a will and taking basic planning steps – no one really wants to talk about what happens when we’re no longer here. The reality IS…. we are all going to die and it is up to you to make the proper plans for your loved ones and possessions when you’re no longer here to tend to them.
Keep in mind your designated beneficiaries of your life insurance take precedence over what is decreed in your will. Please review them periodically to ensure they are current.
Do you have a will? Would you consider getting your wishes written out sooner than later to avoid confusion and add peace of mind? Have a conversation and see where it leads.
If you need a will, please contact us for a referral to an attorney who specializes in your needs. If you'd like to obtain additional life insurance, please give us the opportunity to educate you and provide you with excellent services. We work with several insurance carriers and not all have the same underwriting, so you may benefit more from our experience than you can imagine. We want you to get the best plan for your situation at the best rate possible.
Disclaimer: We do not give tax or legal advice. Please see your accounting professional or attorney for further assistance.