Things come and go, right? So do people … so will you, so will I. You know where I’m headed with this, right? Uh-huh, it’s the big M, and I ain’t talkin’ about Marriage. I’m talking MORTALITY. One day, we’re not going to be here anymore, walking on this green earth; this truth we know. So if this ONE thing is so incredibly evident, why don’t we plan for it?
Y’all know I’m the planning Pink Elephant (audacious goals) queen! I continue to stress how important it is for you to set goals for things you want and hope to happen. But what about planning for that one thing that’s fo’sho going to happen? Like our eventual demise. I don’t know about you, but when I think about it this way, I feel like I can deal with that inevitability better. Primarily because I’m a control freak and like being in charge of all aspects of my life (or in this case my afterlife). So I want to be sure things are handled according to my expectations. Not one of my sisters, or my son. They may mean well, but, Lawd, my son is frugal as all get out. I don’t want him ordering my casket from Alibaba.com. And one of my sisters is already telling us now that she wants us to wear purple flip flops to her funeral. I PROMISE you, if I’m still around and her wishes are not in writing, that is SO NOT HAPPENING! So you can see the importance of getting your business in order now.
Let’s get to work and break the preparation for a fabulous afterlife into manageable small bites, shall we?
First things first: This process of taking care of your assets after/before death is called estate planning. How you choose an estate planning attorney will depend on your needs. This person can better help you understand the process and all of its elements, such as if a will and/or a trust will be beneficial and cost effective for you. Your attorney will explain what happens after you die. Most importantly, she or he can walk you through what I’ve heard described as “Purgatory on Earth,” the dreaded probate process.
Probate is handled by the court system. When you die, all of the things you own (assets) and people or bills you still owe (creditors and liabilities) and people you want to receive (beneficiaries and/or inheritors) all of your worldly treasures (like your complete and pristine collection of OWN Magazines which will be worth something one day) have to be doled out and/or paid. Probate is the time when all of this information gathering goes on. Depending on how janky of a job you did in outlining who gets what and what still needs to be paid, this process can take a really long time! Don’t do this to your family. A will and/or trust help make things easier for your loved ones. (Some of my friends still aren’t speaking to their siblings because things got so ugly after they lost their parents.)
Read the full article HERE.