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Have You Drawn Up Your Will?

It is a myth that drawing up a will is only a duty for those who are entering retirement. The fact is making a will is a necessary task everyone should complete and renew, regardless of age. There are financial situations which call for a will to be revised as frequently as every 5- 10 years. Do not wait until you retire to write up a will. Dying “intestate,” without a will, can result in your hard earned money being divided by legal measures; as opposed to who you feel should receive it. It could mean creating rifts among siblings and family; and can mar the relationships of those left behind after your passing.

Why Should You Have A Will Drawn Up?

As with life insurance, a Will invokes morbid thoughts and is therefore, not a comfortable task to complete or discuss. However, it is one of the most vital tasks that must be completed long before it is needed. Below you will find some examples of scenarios that often occur in life and the ramification that can result when someone dies without making the appropriate arrangements through a formal will:

1. Distributes Wealth According To Need

Scenario 1: You are approaching retirement age; your children are settled into their own lives and are financially stable; you have a sizable income and property and none of the kids really need anything. Your spouse, however, has no income of their own and would be financially devastated by your passing. If you should pass away without a will, your property would be divided among your children (as heirs) and your spouse.

Are you sure that the children will enable your spouse to receive as much money as they need to live comfortably? If your spouse were to need more financial support would your children provide that support? Would they cover medical expenses? What if you own a business that continues to generate profits- who would get that money?

The reality is that when there is a large amount of money and/ or property involved- greed overshadows common decency and familial financial fairness. In many cases, what ensues is a long and arduous court battle that leaves families torn apart. A will allows the deceased to have their wealth distributed as they know it should fairly be. Hence, a will protects your family’s financial stability, as well as, the family structure. A will enables the deceased to continue to care for the members of their family which they cared for while living and to the same extent.

2. Distributes Wealth As You See Fit

Scenario 2: You have three children. Yet, only the youngest, child A, consistently visits you and takes care of you. Child A ensures that all your needs are met, you are safe, you feel loved, and that you are living comfortably. Since the other children have not regarded you in the same manner, you would like to make provisions to ensure that Child A receive considerably more than the other children. Perhaps, you would like to leave your entire estate to that one specific child or another person. A will ensures that the wealth is distributed as you want.

The alternative would result in a court dividing the assets among all the siblings equally. This may actually cause more harm than good and can leave the siblings feeling resentful of each other, as well as, the deceased parent. A will eliminates confusion and clarifies wishes of those who can no longer express their desires.

3. Ensures that special people are rewarded for their love and kindness

Scenario 3: There may be many people who have contributed to your life and ensured your comfort, happiness or simply left an impression in your life and made it worth living. For example- caregivers, close friends and family or any other person who may have spent a good amount of time cheering you up and/ or caring for you. Wanting to show them your gratitude can be done through the execution of your will.

A will enables you to show them that their efforts did not go unnoticed. The reality is that under no circumstances will a court distribute property or assets among “distant” relatives, caregivers or friends; no matter how much time and dedication that person can show they provided. A court will only consider applications from next of kin, spouses and estate executors, under most circumstances.

Provides clarity for the most important aspects of your life

Growing up, you might have at one time or other helped your classmates with their lessons, played games where things had to be shared, witnessed cheating on homework or tests etc., the point is that lessons we all learn as we grow up is that people always want to be right, want more than everyone else and are willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish that goal. A will is the best way to curve those natural tendencies among the people we care most about.
As people accumulate property, wealth and sentimentally valued items, they begin to think about who would appreciate or deserve the things they have the most. A will would provide clarity on the property, wealth and personal items you will leave behind with your passing. It is important to be very clear as to what happens to every part of your life. A will isn’t only about property and wealth but also details what would happen to children, pets and would have been your future earnings.

Forces you to legalize all matters in your life

When you begin drawing up a will, you will find that you will be required to declare and report every valuable, property, asset and legal document you can think of. Instead of regarding this as a tedious and time consuming chore, use the time to ensure that all your assets are in order and that every property you own is up to code, as well as, up to date on taxes and other fees.

Drawing up a will today will allow you to care for your family long after you are gone. It enables you to clarify your wishes so that your family can grieve your passing without being angry at each other or resentful of who should get what. If you feel comfortable doing so, it may be beneficial to make clear to your family who will be getting what in a group setting- long before your time to pass comes. Writing a will, while difficult at first, is guaranteed to give you a sense of accomplishment and security.

The key to the successful execution of a will is always clarity. Contact a professional in order to ensure that all the steps and disbursements you made are legally binding and cannot be contested in a court of law. Tell your family about your wishes and ensure that they understand they you are doing what you see best for each member of the family. In the end everyone will be happy you did.

Top 7 Locations In The USA For Retirement

We struggle our whole life to achieve this and that – some milestones are professional, some financial, and some personal. When many people look back at this time, when they are a few years from retirement, they often realize the significance of those milestones and the people they shared them with. They often have a greater understanding of what is important and give greater attention to the needs of their spouse and themselves. They may want to leave the hustle and bustle of living among those who are constantly shuffling off to work. Here you will find some great places which are prime locations for living out retirement.

Here are 7 locations ideal for retirement. While this list represents some of the best places for retirement, there are undoubtedly many more places in the USA to live out your golden years. Decide the things that matter most to you and base your choice around those desires.

1. Fort Collins, Colorado -

Population: 140,000

Details: Has an eco-friendly spirit, low crime rate, bicycle friendly, great cross country trails, active arts and music scene, affordable- a 3 bedroom house is tagged at $250,000.

Top attraction: June Colorado Brewers’ Festival (owing to the many micro-breweries for beer in the town) when more 30,000 beer lovers converge on this wonderful town

Downside: Rough winters with temperatures dipping below zero.

2. Beaufort, SC -

Population: 12,000

Details: Superb place has more than 70 sites, famous for fishing/ golf/ kayaking, average cost of a home is $175,000, laid-back lifestyle, considered by Field and Stream Magazine as one of the top 20 fishing towns.

Top attraction: Just 34 miles away from the beaches of Hilton Head Island; this is also famous for its golf courses

Downside: It attracts too many tourists in summer; the population increases by almost 10 folds


3. Portland, Ore -

Population: 584,000

Details: One of the greenest cities in the world with 5,000 acre wilderness zone, lovely biking and hiking trails, superb in-town transportation network with light-rail, famous for rose gardens/ micro-brewed beer/ gourmet coffee, house costs about $240,000, has one of the largest book libraries in Mississippi.

Top attraction: Green city

Downside: Rush hour traffic, rain (37 inches/ yearly)

4. Fayetteville, Arkansas -

Population: 74,000

Details: Best book library in the country in 2004 (by Library Journal), consists of the house where the Clintons were married (now it is a museum), crime rates are low, green conscience living with extensive train service, lakes nearby that are superb for fishing, houses cost less than $200,000.

Top attraction: There is an 86-acre Botanical Garden of the Ozarks ( complete with a wonderful lakeside hiking trail.

Downside: There are pockets of abject poverty in Fayetteville

5. St George, Utah -

Population: 73,000

Details: Has more than a dozen golf courses, sunny and scenic locations which beautiful Virgin River flows right through, hot spot for rock climbers, houses cost approximately $205,000, beautiful and laid back which is popular with retirees, Las Vegas is just a 90 minute drive away.

Top attraction: Check out the Dinosaur Walkaway ( that shows dinosaur tracks from more than 200 million years ago.

Downside: Summer (especially July) is very hot with temperatures reaching 102 degrees and above

6. Tucson, Arizona -

Population: 520,000

Details: They say Tucson has it all – tennis/ swimming pools/ 35 golf courses/ spas/ fitness centers/ superb landscape/ mountains, the Green Valley village is one of the largest retirement villages in the world, houses costs some $250,000, spectacular scenery.

Top attraction: Has a forest of cacti in the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum ( that is spellbinding

Downside: Prone to flash floods, experiences thunderstorms and summer is hot with about 100 degree temperatures.

7. Georgetown, Texas -

Population: 55,000

Details: Has golf carts for moving around (Sun City Retirement Community), among the lowest in the country as far as crime rates, houses cost about $220,000, just 26 miles from the hot international favorite Austin, has hiking and horse riding as the main attractions.

Top attraction: There is a Red Poppy Festival ( that attracts more than 30,000 tourists every April just to watch these flowers bloom.

Downside: Summers are at times too hot and humid.


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