Tuesday, October 30, 2012
A Living Will & Health Care Power of Attorney basically tell people what to do in the event that you are incapacitated. For example, if you are in a car wreck and you end up on life support, the documentation listed above puts someone in charge of your affairs, and gives an outline of your wishes such as a "do not resuscitate" order, or how long you want to be on machines that keep you alive.
A Last Will and Testament is basically the love letter for the people you leave behind. If determines who gets your cash, remaining assets, and who raises your children when you and the other parent are no longer alive. For people with kids, this is REALLY important. I read a story about how so many kids became wards of the state of NY until a judge decided who would raise them because both of their parents died in the 9/11 tragedy. I don't know about you, but I don't want some man or woman that doesn't know me or my family deciding who gets my kids when I am gone. To get all of the documentation done by an attorney that knows the laws in your state, and is suitably proficient in estate planning, it could easily cost you around $1,200 to get done. I've found a SIGNIFICANTLY LESS EXPENSIVE WAY to get mine done, and the wed link below will give you more info on how you can get yours done as well:
I found some other interesting info on what happens if you die without a will. I have listed it below:
What happens if I die without a Will?
First, a little context is required. If you own any property when you die, then your surviving spouse or family will need to go through a legal process called “Probate” in order to legally wind up your affairs, pay off your debts, and transfer your remaining property to surviving family. The Probate process applies whether you have a Will or not. The only way around the Probate process is to own all of your assets through a Living Trust, but that’s a whole different story…
If you have a valid Will, then the Probate process plays out according to the specific wishes in your Will, which should include details about who is responsible for administering your estate (the “Executor”), who is guardian for your minor children, who gets your assets, and whether those assets are left outright to people or in creditor protected trusts, just to name a few considerations.
After that little bit of background, we can go on to the answer to the question…
If you don’t have a Will, then the Probate process plays out according to default laws in the state(s) where you own property (note that if you own property in multiple states, then different state laws apply to the different properties). Think of these default laws as a generic Will template provided by the state. Contrary to one popular belief, states don’t automatically take all your assets if you don’t have a Will. However, the end result of the Probate process under default state laws may not be anything close to your actual wishes.
Specifically, here are some examples of how the Probate process may be more confusing, costly, and inconsistent with your wishes if you don’t have a Will.
1. Without a Will, your family must agree who will be the Executor of your estate, and this can cause tension and power struggles.
2. If you are survived by minor children and there is no other living parent, your family and the courts must determine who will be Guardian for your children. This can cause an even bigger conflict.
3. Without a Will, state default laws determine who gets your assets, and this may not be consistent with your wishes. For example, certain state default laws can force your assets to be divided between your surviving spouse and your children (even babies). In addition to being inconsistent with your wishes, this can create additional costs and complexities in the Probate process.
4. Without a Will, you miss the opportunity to create one or more trusts to protect assets for your family or friends against creditor claims, including claims by a divorcing spouse.
5. Without a Will, the Probate process can be more costly and subject to more oversight by the court system, which must play a larger role due to the absence of specific wishes from the deceased person.
If you die without a valid Will in place, then the process of winding up your affairs will be more confusing, costly, and contentious for your family. Most likely, the end result will be inconsistent with your wishes.
For less than a dollar a day, you can have access to a team of attorneys to handle not only your will, but other areas of your life as well
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
The odd thing is that I had been looking to purchase a new lap top (I really really really want a MacBook Pro), but for some reason I just never bought one. something kept telling me to be patient. For the things that I do with music and videos, I need a Mac, but it's not something that I will die without if I don't get one tomorrow. Every time that I would go online to look at them, and even when I went to the Apple store with the hopes and aspirations of getting one, I was always "told" to wait by my gut.
Has there ever been a time in your life where you had that funny feeling... or a voice in your head that directed you towards a particular path? More times than not, our inner compass (the voice of God, conscious, or spirit) guides us or gives us direction without us even acknowledging it. To take it a step further, that small voice gives instructions on how we are to help our brothers and sisters as well. I can't tell you home many times I've given away valuable possessions just because "that voice" told me to. I stopped counting the number of times that I've called friends just to check up on them because "that voice" said that I should. If we learn to get in tune with "that voice," we can help ourselves and our fellow man (or woman) achieve great things in life. It is up to you to work on listening and responding. Take a look at this short video I did for another pastor here in Illinois. I think it will get the wheels turning.
So the story continues... Later on that year I am visiting friends in AZ. Actually, one of my best friends in the world. At any rate, a group of us were sitting around talking. One of my friends in the group is a film production guru. I've seen some of her student projects that are better than some things produced my major motion picture studios. I just so happened to bring up that I wanted to make the switch from PC to Mac. She says "I have an old MacBook Pro under my bed at home you can have." I inquired how muc she wanted for it, and she gave it to me with no charge. I had to get the screen on it fixed, but it was waaayyyy less than purchasing a new Macbook Pro. A week later, my dreams became reality and I had my new machine! I think, better yet I know this happened for a few reasons.
#1... When a person does good deeds, they are rewarded by good deeds. This is where the boomerang of karma comes into play. I try my best to be kind. I give because I have, and I have because I give. It is a cycle that just won;t break.
#2... I knew what I wanted, and I focused my thoughts on what I wanted often. What you think about, you bring about. When your mind dwells on a particular thing, you are actually calling that thing into existence. Good or bad, your mind will harvest what you plant. It will become a reality the more you dwell on it.
#3... I had a firm belief that I deserve what I want out of life, and I am always looking for opportunities to come my way. So many people have desires, but they don't believe that they deserve what they want. I KNOW i deserve what I want from life, and I am constantly putting myself in places where I can get what I want. A person has to be willing to take the risks, open their mouths, go out on a limb if need be... whatever it takes. The only thing worse than failing is not trying at all. How can a person catch a fish if they never cast a line in the water?
So remember, listen to that inner voice, and always do good deeds when you can. In return, you will have a joyous life filled with moments of gratitude and rewards from your good deeds.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012
I almost died today! Well... not really... but I felt like it at the gym. One of my very good friends also happens to be my personal trainer. Her name is La'Drissa Bonivel, and she is a professional athlete (check her out at http://www.loyalbody.com/ or http://facebook.com/
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
The brisk morning air pierces my lungs as I step outside heading towards my SUV. It's cold outside, but I am committed to the process. I'm heading to my 6am martial arts class. Lack of sleep, freezing Chicago wind, and hunger all try to convince me to turn the ignition to the off position and go back in the house. "It's only one day you will miss... go inside where it's warm." Those are the thoughts that ramble through my mind, but I press forward.
Monday, January 9, 2012
I pray that each of you is experiencing the fullness of life, and that you are reaching new heights. This week's message has to do with wisdom and wealth. Both are topics worth talking about separately. As a matter of fact, this may actually become a series I teach on later. For today though, the introduction will be on putting the horse IN FRONT OF the cart... not the cart before the horse (old southern saying... don't worry about it if you don't understand it). This is a little longer than what I usually send out, but it's worth the read. This one touches on some spiritual aspects. Don't be offended, just learn the lesson.
I was watching a TV show a while a couple of years ago, and one of the stories stuck with me. It was one of those "Where are they now" shows when they talk about a person that was in the spot light and then vanished. Well, this particular show wasn't about a movie star, rock legend, or famous TV personality. This was about a couple that lived in a trailer park in rural America somewhere. The couple had won the lottery! They were instant millionaires! An over night success so to speak... riches beyond their wildest dreams. Well, the story later told us that within about a 2 year time frame, they were living right back in the same trailer park that they moved out of when they got the millions. The problem was that they had millions of dollars, but not the WISDOM of millionaires. For them, the "wealth" came before the "wisdom" so they lost it all. They had the before (in front of) the horse. But when the WISDOM (knowledge) comes before the wealth, the situation is more favorable.
If you would, let's look at 1 Kings 3:4-15
4 The king went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices, for that was the most important high place, and Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 5 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you."
6 Solomon answered, "You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.
7 "Now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. 8 Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. 9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?" (WISDOM)
10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, "Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. 13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both riches and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. 14 And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life." 15 Then Solomon awoke—and he realized it had been a dream.
Wow, if God asked you what you wanted, what would you say? Knowing what I know now, I would ask for wisdom as well... but I can't say that would have been the case for me years ago. Depending on when He asks, that may not be the case now :-)
The story later on goes on to tell us that even though it was just a dream, God did bless Soloman beyond measure with wealth. It was because he desired WISDOM first though. Too many times in life, we want the glory without creating the story. Here's the reality of it all... there are millionaires that have lost all of their money before and then made millions again. The money wasn't the important part, but the WISDOM, and the lessons learned made the difference. When we seek to learn what we don't know, acquire the skills necessary for our achievement, and apply what we have learned, our lives get better. But when we want the wealth before the wisdom, and if we actually get it, we often end up in the same "trailer park" that we were in before we got the riches. Income can take a lucky jump, but if you do not grow past your level of income, you will soon fall back. Jim Rohn taught us not to pray that things were easier, but instead pray for more skill (wisdom) to be able to handle our challenges.
The more you know, the more you grow.
Have a wonderful day, take care, and take charge. I love each and every one of you, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.
Suggested Reading: The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason and Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki