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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Why making a will is sound personal finance

I'm going to post a link to an article from the San Francisco Chronicle that talks about why making a will is important. But I have to qualify this post by saying that I don't agree with some of the statements made by the article. For example, I heartily disagree that "people without children need [wills] more than people without children do". Totally disagree! In my view, nobody needs a will more than a parent.

I also disagree that when making a will, you should "make sure the executor is not a beneficiary". The author presents this as a conflict of interest, but again, I disagree, and he doesn't give any examples or explanations of why this is a conflict. Often the beneficiary is the absolute best person to be the executor, such as when a person leaves his or her estate to their spouse and also makes the spouse the executor.

Finally, I disagree that the best way to make sure there are no conflicts of interest is to hire a lawyer to be the executor. Either this writer doesn't know about trust companies, or lives where there are no trust companies, or lawyers do quite a different job there than they do here. Most lawyers that I've talked to are reluctant to act as executors of estates and will only do it when there are no other options. They don't want the headaches.

So why am I including the post on my blog when I don't agree with parts of it? Because it's all information for you, the readers. Because I don't assume I'm right about everything all the time. Because a differing opinion might just get you thinking about what works and what doesn't. And I do agree that a will is necessary, even if I don't agree with this author's take on how it should be done.

Click here to read the post.

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