Click the link below for the weekly family rail, with tips on drawing up a will, a review of the Caldecott-winning book “A Ball for Daisy” and more. Or check out these other links.
Tip of the Week
It's difficult thinking about death and dying and about wills and estate planning when you're young and starting a family or when you feel in perfectly good health. That might explain why nearly 60 percent of Americans do not have a will, according to a recent national survey conducted by FindLaw.com.
The process of drawing up a will and an estate plan is not like it's often portrayed in the movies or on TV. It can involve a number of complex decisions, ranging from how to distribute a lifetime of assets to giving specific directions to your legal guardian about end-of-life decisions, such as whether extraordinary medical care should be implemented to keep you alive, or whether you'd like to donate your organs for medical research.
Consider these tips from FindLaw.com on how to write a will and create an estate plan:
- Get professional help. It's best to get the assistance of an attorney who specializes in wills and estate planning.
- Legal guardians. Most people will consider drawing up a will when they have children. One of the most profound decisions you will ever make is who will care for your children in the event of your untimely death, and this decision is expressed in a will. Along with this decision comes the decision of passing on assets to your legal guardians to provide financial support to care for your children.
- Who to include in your will. In your will, you will name someone you trust (the executor) to carry out the directions in your will. It's imperative that you leave very clear and precise instructions for your executor to follow. You also will name the beneficiaries who will receive your specific bequests, which may include real estate, personal property and capital (stocks, bonds and money).
- What to include in your will. Some people give their personal assets directly to another person, while others will have their assets sold - with the value divided among the beneficiaries. A beneficiary also can include an organization, such as your church, a school or a nonprofit. Funeral arrangements are not included in a will.
- Internet passwords and PINs. To make it easier for the person you designate to fulfill your will, FindLaw.com recommends writing down and storing passwords and PINs (personal identification numbers) of important accounts in a safe deposit box, or with the law firm with which you file your will. This is important because some online services will not grant anyone access to a deceased person's account due to privacy laws.
Family Movie Night
“Red Tails,” now in theaters
Synopsis: A crew of African-American pilots in the Tuskegee training program, having faced segregation while kept mostly on the ground during World War II, are called into duty. Based on a true story.
Violence/scary rating: 4
Sexual-content rating: 1.5
Profanity rating: 3.5
Drugs/alcohol rating: 2.5
Family Time rating: 3.5. This is a good movie for older kids; stick with the recommended PG-13.
(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)
"A Ball for Daisy," by Chris Raschka
Synopsis: Here's a story about love and loss as only Chris Rashcka can tell it. Any child who has ever had a beloved toy break will relate to Daisy's anguish when her favorite ball is destroyed by a bigger dog. Caldecott Medalist Chris Raschka explores in pictures the joy and sadness that having a special toy can bring. Raschka's signature swirling, impressionistic illustrations and his affectionate story will particularly appeal to young dog lovers and teachers and parents who have children dealing with the loss of something special. - Random House Children's Books
Did You Know
China is expecting a huge baby boom this year because it’s the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese zodiac. This year is associated with good luck and wealth.
GateHouse News Service