We went to see a lawyer today, to work on what is euphemistically referred to as "estate planning." What this means is, who gets your stuff after you die.
This was after my wife had spent an hour in the dentist's chair having a tooth drilled.
Sounds like a fun day, hey?
Not that we are really looking at doing that, dying, any time soon, but the reason you get a will or a trust or whatever is for those unforeseen circumstances wherein you go out to, say, collect the mail -- but you don't come back -- least not under your own power. It happens, and while most of us put it off as long as we can and would rather think about more pleasant things, at some point, you have to bite the bullet and get through it. If you die without a will, it will take a long time for your spouse or kids to collect, and the estate tax, which comes and goes, depending on the current administration, will be a killer.
We had a simple will, witnessed and all, years back. I die, my wife gets what's left. She dies, same deal. We both die, it goes to the kids. But that was out-of-date long ago, since the folks we would have had administer stuff for our still-at-home minor children have all passed on themselves. Plus now we have IRAs and SEPs and maybe even the odd book royalty, plus the house and cars and all.
The attorney was a delight. Young enough to outlive us, got kids and dogs of her own, and she was funny. Told some hilarious, non-specific-generic-lawyer stories, and it was, by and large, much more pleasant than one is apt to think when going it to talk about revocable trusts, powers-of-attorney, and who decides when to pull the plug when grandpa snores with the carrots.
And it is a load off our minds, knowing that how we want things to go after we croak will be how we want, and not up to the state or feds to beat our children about the ears before they take half of it.