Columnist: Get a will to save frustration, money

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Jerry Johnson

Contributing columnist

Do you have a WILL?

I know some people are going to say, “That’s none of your business!” Yes, you’re right.

Wills are very important to have. If you have a modest estate, most law firms are not going to charge very much to do you a will.

The problem comes in when someone dies without a will. Guess what, the judge will be having a law firm to handle your affairs for you. Almost a blank check because you would not spend $125 to $250 to get a will done. Don’t blame the lawyers, because someone has to do it, and the court will say, “XYZ Law Firm will do it.”

A will is simply a piece of paper that says who gets what when you die. It is also a legal document that needs to be in a safe place.

If later you want to add something, they have a piece of paper, a codicil, that says you changed something — for example, you gave your shotgun to your granddaughter. You will also need to specify who will be the executor of the will. This is a person that will make sure the will is done as you want it done.

Why am I saying this is important? A good friend of mine did not have one. The law firm got thousands for their time. It was all legal, but it could have been kept in the family.

Whether you have a little money or a lot, please take the time to do your will. Then you can say who gets the bass boat, shotgun, or the back 40 acres; it is your choice. We will all need one sooner or later.

“The measure of a man is the way he bears up under misfortune.” — Plutarch

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Be honest with yourself. Where did your money go? You do not know? Was it for a $8 magazine on SEC football, $18 for pizza on the way home, $10 per ticket to see 007 with $9 coke and popcorn?

“No way” you say, it is only using my plastic card. Where did your money go? Always running out of money before the month is out?

Cut that card up and start using cash. It hurts to use cash for that $5 coke, or at least it does me, so I pass on it. I was standing in line at a gas station and a young kid in front of me dropped about 75 cents. I tapped him on the shoulder and said, “You just dropped a bunch of change.”

He said it was not worth picking up. I told him that was no problem, picked it up and put in my pocket. He was dressed as a young not highly paid construction worker. He has no value of money or time. I would guess he runs out of money every month.

Learn to take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.

We all need to be good stewards of our money. Learn to take care of your money and it will take care of you.

“Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Jerry Johnson is president of First Realty of LaGrange.