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People, you need to get your act together now rather than later. I’m talking about a Will, your Will, and other preparatory instruments that will make the transition easier on your loved ones after you’ve croaked. … Oh, heck, just say it: When you are dead. Yes,scarecrow, one day your sorry carcass will be molding in the ground or be making BTU’s to add to global warming. You need to think further ahead than your hood ornament. Most people do, but there are a few straw-for-brains that just can’t believe that they’re ever going to die. They’re in denial.

I witness this behavior all of the time. A couple of years ago I was brought in to render an appraisal for someone who had died intestate (without a Will). So the attending Judge orders an appraisal of all the decedent’s assets. I appraised the personal property. Personal property are movable tangibles, by the way. If the decedent had had a Will, an appraisal wouldn’t have been required by the Court. From my perspective, it was money well spent: I took my wife to Europe with what I made on that job.

But my overall point is this: plan now so that your loved ones do not have to go through the ordeal of distribution when they are grieving over your bones! Get a Will drawn or write one yourself. Anyone can download Will templates from the Internet or buy templates at office supply stores. Divide your assets equitably so the kids don’t tear each others throats out over your damned cufflinks, or whatever. Assign an Executor to carry out the detailed, specific instructions you so dutifully employed in your Estate Planning documents.

Make your instructions crystal clear, clear enough for a man to understand! Write down everything in short sentences at a fifth grade reading level. Read up on all of this stuff, this Estate Planning stuff, Wills, state laws, taxes, etc. Wikipedia and hundreds of other websites have tons to read about all of this morbid stuff. It’s your responsibility to know about it. It’s the right thing to do. Make it easier on your family and friends. Get your act together before it’s too late. Do your homework now!

FYI: “According to Consumer Reports, as many as 56% of Americans don’t have a will. Among the notables who died either without a valid will or no will at all are Ross Alexander, Fatty Arbuckle, Anura Bandaranaike, Madhav Prasad Birla, Sonny Bono, George Brent, Lenny Bruce, Jacob A. Cantor, Kurt Cobain, Russ Columbo, Sam Cooke, James Dean, Sandy Dennis, John Denver, Divine, Duke Ellington, Cass Elliot, Chris Farley, Bobby Fischer, Redd Foxx, Mary Frann, James A. Garfield, Marvin Gaye, Ulysses S. Grant, Billie Holiday, Buddy Holly, Shemp Howard, Howard Hughes, Andrew Johnson, Florence Griffith-Joyner, Martin Luther King, Jr., Ernie Kovacs, Harry Langdon, Bruce Lee, Abraham Lincoln, Peter Lorre, Jayne Mansfield, Rocky Marciano, Karl Marx, Steve McNair, Sal Mineo, Carmen Miranda, Keith Moon, Rosa Parks, Pablo Picasso, Mihajlo Idvorski Pupin, Tupac Shakur, Don Simpson, Anna Nicole Smith, William Desmond Taylor, Sharon Tate, Tiny Tim, Ritchie Valens, Hervé Villechaize, Barry White, and Jimmy Witherspoon.” RE: