Deal with the tough stuff

Published 3:16 pm Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Well, the smell of that delicious Christmas dinner has left the house. The presents have been put away and the New Year’s confetti has been swept up and discarded.

It’s that time of year when our tax statements arrive, and we start thinking about how much we’ve paid the IRS last year.

While we are dealing with things we would just as soon avoid, let’s go ahead and deal with a couple of more issues that we keep putting off.

First, do you have a will? If so, when is the last time you looked at it?

As we all know, the purpose of leaving a will is to provide for your loved ones with your estate after you have left this life.

The best way to see that your estate is handled the way you want is to have a will. I strongly encourage you to have it prepared by an attorney.

Attorneys are trained in legal principles and can help you craft a document that will provide the best assurance that your desires are fulfilled.

I know, nobody wants to pay an attorney, but think of it as a form of insurance.

In addition to seeing that your desires are fulfilled, the relatively low cost of preparing a will can help to significantly reduce the costs and inconvenience of probating your estate, no matter how big or small.

Second, talk to your family (and your attorney) about what your wishes are if you are incapacitated.

If such a sad situation occurs, you want your family to know your wishes so they can make the proper arrangements for your care and you will want the legal documents in place to facilitate your care.

Again, the costs are relatively small considering the possible benefit to you and your family.

Ok. You’re done. You have that unpleasant but very necessary stuff behind you. Now you can work on your taxes.

Fear not, it won’t be long before you hear “play ball” and the world will be full of beautiful spring flowers again. Have a good midwinter.