Monday, September 29, 2008

You Are All Going to Die!

Today I called my sister to discuss my estate. Now, my sister is a very intelligent and realistic person, but even she freaked out that I wanted to talk about what happens after I die. It made her uncomfortable to talk about it, as if just speaking the words would cause me to die. Properly planning for your eventual demise is not fatal. It won’t cause you to die and faster or slower then if ignore it. It’s not like saying the words “colic weather” or something that really does cause bad things to happen!

So face it. You are going to die some day. There is no way around that. It’s going to happen whether you like it or not. Eventually, someone, somewhere will have to deal with your estate. I think that should be you. Only you know what you want for your estate and your animals. You have to tell people what that is and you have to do it certain ways. Over the next few entries I’d like to talk about what those ways are.

1) Do nothing

2) Leave a will

3) Use a trust

4) Use shared ownership in your property

Which method you chose will depend on how much control you want over your animals' well being after you die (there, I said it again, die) and how much money is in your estate. The methods vary by how you fund your estate and what tax consequences your heirs or beneficiaries will face. Like death, taxes are also unavoidable. So you are all gonna die and somebody, somewhere is going to pay taxes because of it.

Tomorrow we will start with the most common form of estate planning: Doing nothing and leaving it all up to someone else to decide. If you own animals, I do no recommend this method.

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