News Flash: Recent scientific testing has proven conclusively that you are going to die. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that’s just the way it is. You can exercise all day long and eat wheat bran until it’s coming out of your ears, but it’s still going to happen.
What can you do about it? Well, I have two suggestions. Info on one can be found here. My second suggestion is to write a will. Or more accurately, ask me to write one for you.
Should you try to write one without a lawyer? Yes! Because most people that do screw it up, and us lawyers ultimately make more money trying to straighten it out later. (That piece of sarcastic wisdom came from Professor Leslie MacRae, who taught Wills and Estates – also known as Stiffs and Gifts – at Dickinson School of Law.)
Okay. I don’t advocate trying to do-it-yourself when drafting a will. There is very good software available if you want to try, but there really is no substitute for sitting down with an experienced attorney and discussing your estate. I believe this so strongly that I’ll gladly review your homemade will for free or, if you like, give you a referral to another lawyer.
For what it’s worth, I’ll pass along one other will drafting philosophy I picked up from Professor MacRae (see Les, I was paying attention!): if you want something in your will, I’ll put it in. That may sound a bit simplistic or obvious, but it’s important. If you want to leave $5,000 to your dog, you can do that. I won’t impose my opinions on you. Oh, you’ll get to hear what I think, and we’ll discuss the possible ramifications of various courses of action. But in the end, we’ll go with what you want. Whether I like it or not.