19 May 2015

Facing Mortality: Reasons to have a will (that you may not have thought of)

My housemate's mother passed away in July 2014 and my housemate is acting as the estate's personal representative. This post is inspired by her experience.

Having a will means you've found someone to be your personal representative after death; and, having found that person before death the two of you can talk about all kinds of things that might not make it into an official will. 

You have a support person:
  • For example, my mom emails me service ideas for her funeral and has done for many years now. Mostly she sends me 'What Not To" items. 
  • For example, my housemate's mom talked to her about which thrift shops she wanted clothes and household items to go to and why it was important to her.
If you don't set this up before you die:
  • For example: if you don't name a personal representative, then that person is decided by statute-- and may not be the person most fit: physically, mentally, or emotionally. 
  • For example: without a named representative it can take much longer for someone to get the mail from your PO Box (even if they can't find the key), get access to your house, and donate/ distribute food before it goes bad. 
Especially if you live alone and your family is far from you (physically or emotionally) having a will means having a chance to get a trusted local friend to be your personal representative.

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