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Everyone’s favorite topic: confronting their own mortality

We all agree that it is smart to write wills explaining how we want our life assets to be divided.

But – only about half of us get around to making our intentions clear. A major reason for this failure is human nature: the topic of our own death makes us uncomfortable.

With some people, it’s a superstition, a sense that acknowledging death will make it happen sooner.

Imagine the special assets you possess that could go to the wrong party: your books about gardening, the photographs of your parents, your CD signed by Whitney Houston, the photos of you taken on that great trip to Europe, your mother’s wedding ring.

Without a will, your assets are distributed by a formula created by the state you live in. With a will, your possessions go to the person you designate, the person to whom the inheritance will have the most meaning.

The problems are even greater with complex assets like real estate and the family business, or complex situations, such as distributing assets to minor children.

If you die without a will, your estate goes into probate – a time-consuming process in which the court makes your decisions for you.

Other reasons

Besides fear of acknowledging mortality, people have other reasons for avoiding writing a will:

  • Procrastination (“I’ve been meaning to do that.”
  • Denial (“What’s the hurry? I’m only 53!”)
  • Ignorance (“The courts will make the same basic decisions I would make.”)
  • Even more ignorance (“Why does a middle-class person like me need a will?”)
  • A false sense of thrift (“Why spend money on a lawyer?”)

Chances are, you have used one of these reasons to avoid doing the sensible thing. We at Weinstein & Randisi understand. For us, there is one compelling reason that overrides all these others:

People write wills out of love.

Not writing a will leaves your family and other loved ones in confusion and uncertainty. It interferes with mourning.

And the power to control your worldly goods on the other side of life, to put your treasures in the hands of the people who meant most to you – there is enormous satisfaction there.

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  • I wanted to write to say how pleased my wife and I were at your professional handling of our estate planning and preparation of new wills. We were put at ease by your visit to our home for an interview and were pleased that you listened to us and captured the things that we felt were important.

    --Robert and Christine Simonson, Fairport
  • In order to finalize the documents we came to your office and were greeted in a very professional manner and we could not have asked for finer service. We left with copies of everything we needed and feel very confident our needs have been met. Thanks again. We will surely recommend you should the opportunity arise.

    — Christine and Robert Simonson, Fairport
  • I have been working with Weinstein & Randisi for about two years now. Elizabeth Randisi, through a very thorough process, has helped my wife and me determine what is really important in our lives. Thus, we were able to draft a living will that reflected our most important values regarding our estate.

    --David and Ajia Cherry, Fairport
  • I would like to give a testimony for Elizabeth Randisi, an estate attorney with Weinstein & Randisi. Her knowledge of wills and estate planning was clearly demonstrated in her presentation to us. Realizing our need for a will, my husband and I went to see Elizabeth.

    --Kathy and Gary Gray, Webster
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    --Ajia and David Cherry, Fairport
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