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Do you have a will?

Old 01-18-22, 06:31 PM
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Do you have a will?

This is brought on by my infamous Landlords/hoarding thread, where someone suggested I set up a will to prevent my things from going into the landfill should I die. I'll be 50 years old this year so seems a bit early but I guess you can never be too careful, maybe I should look into setting one up.

For those who do-
How old are you now?
Who will get the majority of your possessions? (This is especially of interest if you don't have a spouse, sibling or children to pass them on to, as in my case)
How did you decide this?

Right now I am thinking about a cousin I have who is 18 years old and I don't know him too well, but he has autism (to the point of being unable to live a normal life) and is interested in old electronics and stuff like that so I think he would enjoy my stuff of that nature the most. He might not have anyplace to put it and might have to just sell it, but at least he'd get to go through it and pick out what he really liked. Even if I died before my parents, I think he'd be more worthy of having it. He could probably use my money also. I don't know if he'd ever be able to get a driver's license but might be able to use my car.

Barring that, I might list an animal shelter as the beneficiary and they could just sell off everything. I'd leave some sort of "wish" that everything go to a good home and not thrown away, though of course there's no guarantee of that. I'm sure plenty of other people have left large amounts of things that might not be of obvious use to anyone else.
Old 01-18-22, 06:42 PM
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Re: Do you have a will?

Even if one donates everything to a university film school, it will likely end up being being sent later to the garbage dump if the librarian/archivist can't find any use for it.

College/university libraries frequently do purges of their shelves, of titles which are rarely borrowed and/or duplicate copies.
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Old 01-18-22, 06:57 PM
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Re: Do you have a will?

My wife and I finally bit the bullet a few years ago and had one made. We donít have a ton of money but we primarily set it up for our three young children. If anything were to happen to us, we wanted to make sure our kids donít get lost in the system, so thereís specific relatives Iíve designated to care for them if something were to happen to me and my wife together.

What little financial holdings we have, is designated to an executor but is set up to be divided between our three kids evenly.

Iím 41 now but we finally set up the Will when I was maybe 39.

Last edited by GoldenJCJ; 01-18-22 at 07:09 PM.
Old 01-18-22, 07:14 PM
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Re: Do you have a will?

I should probably set up someone to care for my cats also- when I adopted my newest ones I filled out an application that asked if I had any plans should that happen, and I didn't. If I were to die today I would hope either my parents or a particular friend who loves cats would take care of them.
Old 01-18-22, 07:23 PM
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Re: Do you have a will?

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ View Post
My wife and I finally bit the bullet a few years ago and had one made. We donít have a ton of money but we primarily set it up for our three young children. If anything were to happen to us, we wanted to make sure our kids donít get lost in the system, so thereís specific relatives Iíve designated to care for them if something were to happen to me and my wife together.

What little financial holdings we have, is designated to an executor but is set up to be divided between our three kids evenly.

Iím 41 now but we finally set up the Will when I was maybe 39.
How much did it cost each of you to set your will up? I assume you had to do two will, right? One for each of you.
Old 01-18-22, 07:32 PM
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Re: Do you have a will?

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
This is brought on by my infamous Landlords/hoarding thread, where someone suggested I set up a will to prevent my things from going into the landfill should I die. I'll be 50 years old this year so seems a bit early but I guess you can never be too careful, maybe I should look into setting one up..
It's not too early. I had a cousin who died unexpectedly in his early fifties. He had a huge collection of books, comics, records, and toys which all went to his estranged sister who he hadn't talked to for several years (probably the last person he would have wanted to get it).
Old 01-18-22, 07:35 PM
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Re: Do you have a will?

Originally Posted by ben12 View Post
How much did it cost each of you to set your will up? I assume you had to do two will, right? One for each of you.
Yeah, we have two wills. Theyíre essentially the same, just our names switched around in the appropriate spots in case one of us dies first. I think all told the cost was about $500.
Old 01-18-22, 07:35 PM
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Re: Do you have a will?

Originally Posted by morriscroy View Post
Even if one donates everything to a university film school, it will likely end up being being sent later to the garbage dump if the librarian/archivist can't find any use for it.

College/university libraries frequently do purges of their shelves, of titles which are rarely borrowed and/or duplicate copies.
That's what I just did at work. Had a print out of movies that had not been checked out in 2 years. Deleted them from the system, boxed them, and am waiting for them to be picked up for disposal. There isn't enough room to keep shit that doesn't circulate enough. It's all part of the collection retention policy.

Of course, the general public throws a fit when pictures of books and media being dumped make the Internet rounds, but this lady knows what she's talking about in terms of weeding policy:

https://clairebearian.medium.com/wee...s-9e664aa14c00

Old 01-18-22, 08:18 PM
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Re: Do you have a will?

A little off topic, but this thread reminded me of this fascinating NYT story from 2015 about the process of what happens when a New Yorker died alone with no will and no apparent next of kin:

The Lonely Death of George Bell

No, I don't have one but my wife will automatically inherit all my assets under my state's law, which is what I would want to happen anyway. However, I know we have talked about writing one anyway just to avoid the probate process. We have assets that definitely put us above what the state calls a "small estate" ($50K or less in net assets).
Old 01-18-22, 08:23 PM
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Re: Do you have a will?

After my step-dad passed away and we went thru probate with the will and all, I decided to use some of my inheritance money to get my own will set up since I own a house and there was a certain person in my family that I didn't want to have dibs on my estate in any way, so I made sure to reference they get nothing of mine in my will. Since I'm unmarried and have no kids, my Niece and Nephew will be stuck with all of my crap after I'm gone...

Around the same time that I got my will done, I also set my "pre-needs" up with the Neptune Society so that way my family doesn't have to deal with any of that in regards to me when its my time.

I'm pretty much "all set"...yikes.
Old 01-18-22, 08:44 PM
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Re: Do you have a will?

I was the one who brought it up on the other thread because Alan has said that he's retaining this massive (and largely obsolete) collection for future generations to enjoy and maybe a museum. Alan, if that's really your sincere wish and not just another excuse to hoard, then what are you doing to make that happen? And based on your post here, you would basically just be sending stuff to people to dump. So, it really is just all about the hoarding? Because if you don't make arrangements before you die, there's not going to be someone who discovers you have a complete CED collection and will decide to preserve it. It will just be thrown out.
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Old 01-18-22, 09:03 PM
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Re: Do you have a will?

For my part, no will. Nobody wants the bric-a-brac I own. It'll go to my mom or sister, and they can do with it as they wish.
Old 01-18-22, 09:07 PM
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Re: Do you have a will?

Originally Posted by Why So Blu? View Post
That's what I just did at work. Had a print out of movies that had not been checked out in 2 years. Deleted them from the system, boxed them, and am waiting for them to be picked up for disposal. There isn't enough room to keep shit that doesn't circulate enough. It's all part of the collection retention policy.
Shit man, at least let Alan make his will before you give him a heart attack.
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Old 01-18-22, 09:42 PM
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Re: Do you have a will?

I'll be 63 next month. I don't have a will because I don't own anything of real value. My checking and savings accounts are in both mine and my fiance's names, so she would still have access if I die first. she can keep any BluRay or guitar she wants.
Old 01-18-22, 10:03 PM
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Re: Do you have a will?

Yes, I have had a will and a personal, living Trust set up since age 20 in 1982. It is important, not only for tax purposes while you are living, but as a means of asset protection. Most people don't think about it until old age and / or when problems start to arise. That's a huge mistake. You can even write your own holographic will FOR FREE, just get it notorized and officially registered. I knew, even on the cusp of young adulthood, that I DID NOT want the State to get any scintilla of my assets. Without a will, things go into Probate, and without issue / family / people specified for your assets to go to in a will, the State will swoop in and claim everything. Similar to imminent domain where they can take your home if a freeway's going to be built, etc. Especially if you own property, you want to make sure the provenance of it will be guaranteed when you die -- OR if you become physically or mentally incapcitated. That last part is VERY important. You set up a conservatorship and name a person or an agency to look after your affairs in your best interest, if you become unable to do so. You also specify in certain terms what your final wishes are, disposal of to whom your assets go, and will any sums to people you've found so worthy to deserve them in knowing them while having lived this grand course of life.
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Old 01-18-22, 10:13 PM
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Re: Do you have a will?

I made a will using software many years ago (forgot name of software). And then got it notarized.

And then I put my house under a trust.

Truthfully I wouldn't have done this myself and only did it because my parents stressed the importance of doing it. Basically forced me to do it haha


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Old 01-19-22, 08:47 AM
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Re: Do you have a will?

Several years ago we got together with a bunch of our camping/parenting friend group and got a group discount with a friend of a friend that was a lawyer and we all did living wills and such. Indicating we didn't want to be kept on life support for a long time and what happens to our kids if we died.
Old 01-19-22, 09:01 AM
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Re: Do you have a will?

Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
Yes, I have had a will and a personal, living Trust set up since age 20 in 1982. It is important, not only for tax purposes while you are living, but as a means of asset protection. Most people don't think about it until old age and / or when problems start to arise. That's a huge mistake. You can even write your own holographic will FOR FREE, just get it notorized and officially registered. I knew, even on the cusp of young adulthood, that I DID NOT want the State to get any scintilla of my assets. Without a will, things go into Probate, and without issue / family / people specified for your assets to go to in a will, the State will swoop in and claim everything.
I would be surprised if this is true in any state and it certainly is not true in mine. There is a pecking order of next-of-kin that is followed (intestate succession laws) and the state gets no claim on the estate assets unless an exhaustive search for a legitimate heir turns up bupkus. This is actually pretty rare. So long as you have a living spouse, child, or parent (at the very least, in some states the list is much longer), some relative will get your assets. That said, a will can avoid the probate process which means that your heir gets the assets much more quickly and without as much fuss. Also, if you want to leave your assets fully or partially to someone other than your legal next-of-kin, you need a will for that also. The state may also liquidate assets in order to pay unpaid taxes and debts if there is no will (understandable) but may not do so in the most logical or efficient manner, so this is another reason to have a will. If the state also has expenses from trying to track down your grand-nephew or something, they can also bill the estate for those expenses. However, this expense structure is pretty above-board (and has probably been challenged many times in court) so it is likely pretty fair. Lastly, if the state ends up having to bury you itself because no relative was found quickly enough (or none were willing to) to arrange for your funeral, they get to bill for that also.

Edit: Another great reason to have a will is if you are not legally married to your longtime romantic partner. In some states, this could be an issue. Also, in my state, the succession laws are (IMHO) arguably too generous to children of past marriages. So if I died and I had a child from a prior marriage, my current spouse only gets 1/3 with 2/3 going to that other child. Frankly, if you have a child from a prior marriage, you definitely want a will regardless. I would not want my current wife and my ex-wife going at each others throats over my estate. In my case, this is a non-issue since I had no child from my first marriage and she has no legal claim on any post-marriage assets.

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Old 01-19-22, 09:40 AM
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Re: Do you have a will?

My wife and I had our wills done up a few years ago, at the time our kids were 12 and 14 or so and we wanted to be sure they went to the relative we wanted them to 'just in case' and we have a house and some decent assets (mostly retirement funds). They are probably due for an update at this point as it's now been 6 years and we umm sort of never got them notarized for various reasons
Old 01-19-22, 11:00 AM
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Re: Do you have a will?

My wife and I just did ours last year, mostly to take care of our young children should both of us die at the same time. We have everything going into a trust, with my sister taking over that and the kids if we die. The kids will get certain amounts at certain times, and my sister can use what's in there for reasonable costs associated to raising the kids. We also had living wills written up. My work has an extra benefit for access to lawyers that costs ~$3/month, so it was covered under that plan. I am still in the process of adding the trust as the beneficiary of all of my assets.
Old 01-19-22, 11:11 AM
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Re: Do you have a will?

I wrote a will twenty-something years ago when I bought my house, because I suddenly owned something that mattered. I revised it when we got married, because I had someone who mattered. Both times I used the Nolo book and software.

I haven't looked at it since. It's been too long. I have enough assets that I need to think about taxes, and I'm thinking about a living will, so I need to do it again using a lawyer. I even got the name of a lawyer from a friend, but haven't followed through.

Old 01-19-22, 11:17 AM
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Re: Do you have a will?

We did ours far later than we should have - our kids are now in their teens. We have great relationships with our parents and siblings (and we're all good people) so the kids would have been fine but it's good to have it settled. It was odd to say that my now 18-year-old would get custody of his 16-year-old sister, but that's how we set it up. We also stipulated that the dogs would go with the kids who would go to my brother if we had died before our kids came of age. Otherwise everything is basically all being split between my brother and my wife's sister.

I have a lot of collectibles too but I do not care what happens to them after I'm gone, as I'm collecting them for me and not for posterity.
Old 01-19-22, 11:20 AM
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Re: Do you have a will?

You can also do one via Legal Zoom, I think. They're actually local out here and I am assuming they're still in business, but they're pretty much the fill in the blanks, pay them, and they notarize it electronically. They remind me of Turbo Tax but with wills, trusts, etc.
Old 01-19-22, 11:26 AM
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Re: Do you have a will?

Originally Posted by Why So Blu? View Post
You can also do one via Legal Zoom, I think. They're actually local out here and I am assuming they're still in business, but they're pretty much the fill in the blanks, pay them, and they notarize it electronically. They remind me of Turbo Tax but with wills, trusts, etc.
I used Legal Zoom to set up my photography business LLC and we were going to use them for a will too but I have a friend who was just launching his "freelance lawyer" business (basically he will come to your house and work you through stuff like this) so we went that way instead. Ended up costing a little more but not way off.
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Old 01-19-22, 11:46 AM
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Re: Do you have a will?

Have there been any times where someone dies alone and just leaves an informal written note stating what they want done with their possessions? Have those wishes usually been fulfilled or just ignored?

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