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As humans we naturally fear death. We fear the great unknown and we fear what happens to our loved ones after we go. In this episode we’ll cover estate planning and why having a will is just one small part of a plan to make sure your stuff transfers efficiently to your survivors while they are grappling with your death. I find out if I need a will!

If you have an aging or sick loved one it may be time to have the hardest conversation you may ever have in your life. Planning for death is important because dying without a will means that you have died “intestate” and that the state takes over your stuff to deliver it to your heirs in probate court.

My first guest is Rebecca Neale, an estate planning lawyer in Massachusetts.

Then I’ve got Elettra Wiedemann, author of the book Impatient Foodie, on to talk about her relationship to money. We chat with Elettra’s financial advisor, Bill Jones, about how she plans on passing her financial knowledge onto her children.

What is in a Estate Plan?

A will – directs an executor to disperse your possessions and assets.

A healthcare proxy – names someone to make medical decisions for your if you become incapacitated.

A power of attorney – names someone to manage your affairs when you are unable to. This may not seem like a big deal but this allows a named person to do things like pay your rent and credit card bills.

You may also have an advanced directive or a living will. Remember Terri Schiavo?

There’s also life insurance, which can be part of estate if you have a large whole life insurance policy payable upon death.

You can go online and create a will for about $100.

There’s Legal Zoom’s website, a millennial-friendly site called Willing, and Quicken’s Willmaker software. These can be viable options but Rebecca recommends meeting with a lawyer because this is something you really don’t want to screw up.

The Non-Money Minute

Since we’re already on the subject of DEATH, I thought I’d mention one of my favorite cemeteries in the world: Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.

Do You Need a Will?

Probably! Even if you’re single with limited assets, a plan for death will make everything so much easier for your family who will be completely distraught.

It’s especially important for new parents to make sure that their wishes and estate are squared away. If available, meet with a financial advisor to do some planning for the next generation.