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Why You Need a Will

A book I'm reading, Estate Planning When You Have Pets, inspired me to write this blog.

    As the owner of The Paw and Feather Plan I help people think ahead to prevent their pets from becoming homeless.  With a little planning, this can be a surprisingly simple task! 
    For the legal aspects of planning (wills, directives and trusts) I refer clients to competent, animal-loving, estate-planning attorneys. 

    So why then am I writing about "why you need a will?" 
    I should just leave this topic to the professionals right?! -Wrong.

    While I cannot (nor do I want to) offer legal advice since I'm not an attorney, I can share my brief story with wills and how my perception of life and death planning has changed over the past couple of years. 

This is a topic people need to be comfortable contemplating and discussing; after all we're all going to die one day! 

    When my son was born in 2014 I started thinking about getting life insurance.  I even reached out to a friend with an insurance company.  But when I called him I felt strange even talking about the subject of wanting life insurance 'since now I was a mom' and all.

    He was calm and reassuringly said, "Oh yeah, definitely I think that's when a lot of people start thinking about life insurance, when they become parents."

    This may sound weird but I was even a little superstitious, like, if I get life insurance, something may happen to me! 
    "What if I'm having a premonition something's going to happen to me?" I remember thinking. 

My son when he was 1 yr. old!

     In 2019, 5 years later, I finally got around to getting a universal $100,000 life insurance policy (SO empowering but we'll get to that later!). 
    This time I went ahead and got the insurance, with plans of forming a will, because I didn't want to be a hypocrite... encouraging others to make a plan for their pets via including them in their wills and directives, while not having a life insurance policy or will of my own.  -That was my motivation. This business is ultimately what made me act on getting life insurance and having a will drafted!

So, Lessons 1 and 2 (based on my personal experience):

1.)    Superstition about something happening to you, just because you create a will and/or purchase life insurance, is an issue for some people.  We're typically prompted to think about life and death planning when a major life event happens to us, or someone else's major life or death event affects us. 
    In my case I was in my first year of motherhood so I wasn't getting good sleep and my hormones were in disarray... these types of things can absolutely affect one's rationale. 

Bottom Line: know the superstition is only in your mind and it will pass! 

2.)    You may have plans, off and on, to create a will and/or purchase life insurance but it's something always on the back burner. -Not OK.  As the Nike ads used to say, "JUST DO IT"
    That being said, I completely understand wills and life insurance becoming back-burner issues.  It happened to me for 5 years! 
    Knowing this makes me all the more sure I have an important mission on this earth... raising awareness for mankind to do life and death planning, and to include their pets in their plans! 

How does life insurance keep coming up if this blog is called, "Why You Need a Will"?

    This blog post is for the novice life and death planner. 
    So, if I for example have a will, without having life insurance, there'd be virtually nothing of monetary value in the will.        
    My car is worth $3000, I have less than $5000 in an IRA, and a little savings account so there wouldn't be much 'to go around.'           That being said, it'd still be worth having a will in place, even with these few assets!

    Purchasing a life insurance policy is an excellent way to fund your will.  Knowing I have this $100,000 life insurance policy gives me such peace of mind and confidence. 

    I am so proud that I took the plunge, and obtained life insurance! 
    My will currently is being drafted by my attorney friend and mentor, Kelli Brown. 

Having a Will Gives You Power and Control, Beyond Your Death. 
    That is such a powerful truth- embrace it! 
    Having a will and life insurance guarantees your loved ones a better chance of succeeding at this game of life. 

"If you can cut a check to solve a problem, you don't have a problem." -Dean Graziosi

    That may sound too simplistic but the quote is particularly relevant when one ponders life and death planning. 

    There's a lot of headache and heartache that can, and should be prevented, for your loved ones, your pets, your soul, with just a little planning on your part. 

    Going back to my case, I've been able to name a pet custodian in my will, should something happen to my husband and me simultaneously.  I've assigned a specific, generous amount of money to this person should something, God forbid, happen to us, in exchange for her taking in any pets we may own at the time of our death.  Specifications are made as to what she could 'do with the pets....' she could responsibly re-home them for example.

    Let me just tell you, every time I see this person, since writing up the will, I smile a little bigger on the inside (I've always smiled on the inside and out when I saw her because I like her as a person).  
   I feel so good, so empowered, knowing I've assigned provisions for ________ to care for my pets!  I'm 100% confident she'd take excellent care of them and find them excellent homes.  
This is worth something to me
    I want to give her something because of that.  I want to enrich her life because of her ability to help my pets, and just for the great person she is.  I know money left to her would go to making this world a better place.  -That makes me feel very good.

    Money is also designated to support a couple of my favorite charities in my will.  Typically I donate $5/month to one charity (auto-deduct), and there are several others I support via $20-$100/yearly.  
    So, how cool does it feel knowing that, when I die, these groups will get thousands of dollars in my name?! 
    I may never be able to support the environmental charities near and dear to my heart during my lifetime in such abound, but knowing I can in my death is, again, empowering

    I'll stop here because I'm not trying to get anyone too excited about dying (insert uneasy laughter here).
Live well and long! 

    The truth is, I wish for any and everyone reading this blog, myself included, a long, healthy, happy, joyous, peaceful, prosperous, satisfactory, life, a life in tune with the underlying life-force.  Go in peace... with yourselves, with nature, with your pets. 

    But please, make a plan for your pets, if you haven't yet! 

Embrace the power and control life and death planning offers you! 




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