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Who is going to get your money?

By Dian Vujovich

May is National Make A Will month, according to LegalZoom.com . A quick Google search revealed that so was April and will be August. But hey, it’s okay, making a will is really important if you’re an average Jane. Having an estate plan and various trusts in place may be more important for those with assets say valued in the high 6- to 7-figure plus range. But ought not be overlooked by ordinary folks.

I’m guessing that most residents of Palm Beach already have their trust and estate plans in order for the only Big Day that’s guaranteed to come in our lives. But if anybody doesn’t have their affairs in order—that would be financial affairs—there are plenty of fine trust and estate attorneys and investment institutions around to help do so.

I’m also guessing that the greater percentage of individuals working for people in Palm Beach don’t have a will whether they are personally working for them or working in one of the companies owned by the boss as research shows more than 70 percent of people die without a will. That’s a lot. And not particularly smart when you have things like money, real estate, investments, heirlooms, a dog, bird or any other kind of treasure to pass on to people you care for.

Although there are plenty of online sites that will help folks create their own wills—LegalZoom.com for instance advertises doing so for as little as $69 while DoYourOwnWill.com says it won’t cost anything—two things worth doing before moving ahead with any who-gets-what plans are reading the story titled “The Whys and Hows of Wills” at AARP.org at: http://tinyurl.com/2dbjgbw .

Then taking the 25-question Make A Will Quiz at MSN.com, at: http://moneycentral.msn.com/quiz/make-a-will-quiz/home.aspx .

Here’s one questions from it: “Several years ago, you remarried and made a new will. Your two children each will receive a cash bequest of $50,000 plus any extra money in the estate, and your new husband gets your share of the house that you bought together, held as a joint tenancy with the right of survivorship. You die before your husband. Your share of the house is now worth $200,000 and your only other asset is a $15,000 savings account. What do your children get?”

All questions are multiple choice and the correct answers aren’t revealed. But after taking the quiz your score will be.

My final guess today is that once seeing it—the average score is 52– you’ll be contacting an attorney to help draw up a will and whatever other end of life paperwork needed.

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