News with Richard Bleil
Not long ago, I was at rock bottom. I was living at the mercy of my friends who were kind enough to put me up so I had a roof over my head. Other friends would sneak fast food gift cards to me which I would partition out to make them last, sometimes eating as little as once every three days. I hope my friends who hosted this because they’ll be very upset that I didn’t let the feed me as well, but I didn’t want to add to the cost of having me with them. Then I became an orphan.
Dad died about a year and a half ago. Having lost mom several years earlier, his passing made me an orphan. As it turns out, he was very frugal, and had significant savings and retirement plans. No, we wasn’t a millionaire, but in a time when the mean American savings is only $5,300 (thanks, corporate America), he had amassed an impressive savings. My share flooded me out of the basement and into a comfortable living. Now I have to stop buying expensive garbage.
My desire is to have a significant portion of the inheritance go to charity, but after buying a house, vehicle, and other expenses, the amount remaining is about the amount I wanted to donate. It seems folly to give money to charity today leaving me with a house but no food. So how, exactly, do I transmit my desire that money be donated beyond the grave?
Yes, of course, I did get a will. I tried one of those online will services, but I realized that this would give me a piece of paper to leave somewhere conspicuous and hope that whoever finds it will honor it, something I do not believe would happen. No, I needed to hire an actual attorney to write and, when I go, actually defend the will should it be necessary.
It’s not easy thinking about a will. It’s an acknowledgment that, yes, there will be a day that we die, something we would rather not think about and yet it can happen so frighteningly fast. My ex-wife accused me of being dramatic as I lay on my couch for a week, in pain, without eating as a major heart-attack threatened to take me from her. I’m sure she would have “hated” that. My bypass happened during a relapse about six months later, where a nurse told me that I was lucky the blockage wasn’t at my “widow-maker”, an artery in the heart that is almost always fatal. I felt fine just prior to the heart attack, healthy and young (I was in my forties) and suddenly I was taken out of the game and too weak to defend the verbal onslaught my wife threw on top of my joyous suffering.
The point being, get a will made. Update it on every major event like anew child, new spouse, or new freedom from the spouse. The odd thing is that, once I actually started on the will, it was kind of fun. The first question they ask are your assets (which reminds me, I might want to review it) and net value. Many of the purchases I made were actually intended as investments, such as buying my house outright (far too large for me so it will have great resell value), upgrades to the house and stocks. My net value is actually significantly larger than I thought it would be after spending so much of my inheritance.
There are some difficult questions. Who will be the executor, for example. The good news is that, if you have nobody, there are trust companies that can step in to help organize the execution of your will. And, of course, you want to think about your living will. If you’re brain-dead, do they pull the plug kind of thing. Do you donate your organs? Mine is a little complicated. I really have nothing to live for, so yes, pull that plug, unless you don’t. I’m very much into helping others and science, so I’ve added an addendum that if there is some kind of (ethical) experimental procedure or medicine and I can be of value for experimentation, then yes, they can keep me alive for medical science. I’m sure that the thought has just crossed your mind that, yes, I will be “zombie-0”. The funny thing is that as I write about being the first zombie, I’m smelling a “Dragons Blood” candle that I bought a few days ago at an occult store, so there’s that.
Most importantly, now that it’s been written, and I know it will be defended and executed, it’s off of my mind. If any good has come from writing my will, it must be that it has given me piece of mind. My advice to you is to get your will written. Then, like me, you’ll be good to go.