What if you died today? Do you have a will prepared?

What if you died today?  Do you have a will ready to execute your estate?  You, regardless of the size of your estate, should have a will prepared. This helps your family deal with all items in which you leave them at your death.  I know some of you do not like to think about death or even write down on paper things dealing with your death.  But listen, we live in a world with the “I deserve it” attitude running rampant throughout our nation.  Having a will to systematically spell out for your family and loved ones your wishes is so important!

       I am not a lawyer but I know the importance of having a will prepared and completing an estate plan of some kind before you are gone.  By the way, if you think that because you are in your twenties and death is a long time from now, just remember that you could be a part of the 6.4% of men who will die in accidents this year.  Maybe you will be in the 23.4% of men who will died of cancer this year.  None of us are guaranteed tomorrow!

Remembering the Day Our Family Changed Forever

The Friday morning of August 11, 2002, was very normal on our dairy farm in Middle Tennessee except for the fact that I had left the barn early to go to the house to get ready to leave for a Farm Bureau meeting in Columbia, Tennessee.  It was silage harvesting time and my dad and I had been helping my brother, Johnny, harvest his silage.  As I got out of the shower my mama called me and said dad had come in from feeding and was not feeling well.  I rushed over to find my dad in the floor not able to move or speak.  He had suffered a brain aneurysm.  He died the next day after we took him off life support.  We were devastated!  Any sudden unexpected death is devastating, but even then, with the help from God of course, and good planning, it can be a less stressful time.

Planning for Family’s sake

Six years earlier my mom and dad met with a Farm Bureau representative to help begin a process of evaluating the farm estate.  The conclusion was if something happened to one of them the other would be liable to pay estate taxes.  The limit then was only $600,000.  With the recommendations and the help of a lawyer the farm was divided into two farms.  One was placed in Mama’s name and the other in my dad’s.  Whoever died first, their farm would be placed into a family trust thus escaping the tax burden at that time.  This decision proved to be very wise!

I have shared before in this blog how his life insurance policy help pay off his debt.  Preparation is so key.  http://www.ryancsparkman.com/?p=85

My wife and I are in the process of updating our will and final plans.  Please take time today or sometime soon to complete your final wishes and plans that your family may not be burdened with unwanted stress.  Losing you is enough!  I know you love your family so do it for their sake.

My Heart…

My dad didn’t tell me that he loved me many times at all during his life but he sure did tell me in his death!  So, allow me to end this post with this thought.  And you may think it’s out there after what I have written already but here it is:

I have become to realize it’s not the physical things you leave for your children and grandchildren that’s the most important. Do I ever get the pictures, videos, albums, and documents out of my grandparents and parents to watch or read or reminisce? The long answer is “No”.  The most important things are the memories and the legacy those people left on me, my mind, and my heart!  

Just a thought from my heart.