My husband and I have been talking for a while about setting up a will and trust for ourselves. We are young, don’t have kids and don’t own a home so it’s a bit early to be thinking about all this, but for some reason – I felt determined to take care of it.
During open enrollment last year, I opted into our legal insurance plan. Now that I’ve seen it in action, I can’t recommend it enough. Check with your HR department to see if it’s something that’s offered. Since we had the insurance, setting up the will was completely covered and setting up a trust was just a fraction of what it would normally cost. Aside from this project, we’ll also be covered for anything law related for buying a house, getting out of a rental lease, dealing with a parking ticket, and more. None of these are things that I 100% know we’ll deal with in the coming year, but it’s a nice piece of mind to know we’ll have coverage.
We picked our lawyer through a combo of looking at our insurance to see who was in-network and extensive yelp review research.
At our first meeting, we sat down with our lawyer and she walked us through a slew of questions many of which we hadn’t thought about before but were easy to answer. A few of her questions involved a little more thought and research but we were able to follow up with her post-meeting to make changes. The great part was that she easily walked us through everything and let us make our own decisions without giving opinions or leading us to choose certain options.
A handful of the things we needed to decide:
- Who will make your health decisions if you are not able to?
- Do you want to be kept alive by artificial means?
- Buried (where?) vs. Cremation (ps – you have even more options to consider)
- Who will inherit your assets?
There are a lot of things you have to consider and it’s a lot to put it all on paper, but the nice thing is, you can always change it as your situation (or opinions) change throughout your lifetime.
We also asked about a few personal requests that she recommended we add separately to our files rather than part of our legal document. Things like what song to play at our funeral and other personal requests.
After the meeting, our lawyer sent us a draft of the will and trust plus a detailed letter about what to keep in mind as we review. We put off reading and proofing the document for way too long.. but once we finally dedicated ourselves to go through it, it wasn’t bad reading through and making notes. We did a call with our lawyer to go over changes and then – signing day!
Yesterday, we sat down with our lawyer and a notary to sign the final documents. It was a quick process and she kept us organized along the way and double checked that we initialed every page. Our next step will be to move our financial accounts to benefit the trust and let our families know where to find our will/trust should they need it. Our lawyer recommended not actually telling everyone what our documents say but just letting them know that we’ve completed the steps should they need them.
We left the meeting feeling incredibly accomplished, it was a great way to end our year. I think we also learned a lot about ourselves and each other through the process. We have only been married a few years and I think most couples don’t talk about this stuff until way further into marriage. It was very cool to check in and see where we both fall with all these big decisions. I learned a lot and feel a huge sense of calm that I didn’t even know was missing before sitting down to do this. Can’t wait to see what next year brings for us in the world of becoming adults.
P.S. this post is part of our 30 Blog Post Goals for 2018, check out the full list!
Has anyone else started working on “adult” paperwork? What have you found out along the way? Let us know in the comments!