Beliefnet
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It’s tragic enough that Steve McNair
died a violent death at such a young age, but even sadder yet that he
died without a will or proper estate planning, which will greatly
impact his wife and children. It’s amazing how often this occurs –
people spending their time and energy making money, but failing to
find the time to manage it or ensure their family’s security.

Steve’s untimely death is a wake up
call to us all. So the money coaching question of day is: Do you have
your financial house in order? If you suddenly died today, who would
you be leaving financially unprepared or abandoned?

Steve had a wife and two young children
in his current marriage and two teenage sons from two previous relationships. Without a will his estate will almost certainly end up in a giant court battle and
all of his children may or not be recognized as his rightful
heirs.

Regardless of the size of your net
worth, at a minimum it’s important to have: a will, a durable power
of attorney, a living will and a medical power of attorney.

A
will directs how you want your personal property and assets
distributed when you die. Without it, the the state gets to decide
for your heirs how YOUR money will distributed. Why would we do that
to our loved ones? Wills are critical if you have children or other
dependents. Without a will, your spouse, children or other heirs
could end up far less and usually with a high cost in probate tax and
legal fees.

A durable power of attorney allows you to
designate a representative, such as your spouse, to perform certain
actions on your behalf should you become unable to do so for
yourself. Without a power of attorney, your loved ones have to both
added cost and delay in getting court approval to handle any
financial transactions.

A living will allows you to determine
what life-sustaining medical treatments you wish to be performed (or
not) in the event you become incapacitated.

A medical durable power of attorney
(or health care proxy) is a document that authorizes someone else to
make medical decisions on your behalf ( ideally the wishes indicated
in your living will.) This should only be someone you know
understands and is willing to carry out your wishes, even if others
object.

The time, energy and expense of doing
this is minimal. The cost of not doing it and the toll it can take on
those you may leave behind: Great.

Spend some time this weekend playing
and planning
for your family.

Peace and Blessings!

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