While the Queen of Soul is known for her timeless songs, she also struggled with one of the common things many people forget to do before they die – have a will. Aretha Franklin wasn’t alone. Prince also didn’t have a will when he died.
No one wants to think of death, but not having a will means your assets from property, cars, and bank accounts can get locked up in the courts for many years if there are multiple people claiming rights to it. According to an AARP survey, 2 out of 5 Americans over the age of 45 don’t have a will.
This AARP story says there are 10 Things You Should Know About Writing a Will:
What is a will?
A will is simply a legal document in which you, declare who will manage your estate after you die. Your estate can consist of big, expensive things such as a vacation home but also small items that might hold sentimental value such as photographs. The person named in the will to manage your estate is called the executor because he or she executes your stated wishes.
A will can also serve to declare who you wish to become the guardian for any minor children or dependents, and who you want to receive specific items that you own.
What happens if I die without a will?
If you die without a valid will, your estate will be settled based on the laws of your state that outline who inherits what. Probate is the legal process of transferring the property of a deceased person to the rightful heirs.
Do I need an attorney to prepare my will?
No, you aren’t required to hire a lawyer to prepare your will, though an experienced lawyer can provide useful advice on estate-planning strategies such as living trusts. But as long as your will meets the legal requirements of your state, it’s valid whether a lawyer drafted it or you wrote it yourself on the back of a napkin.
Do-it-yourself will kits are widely available. Conduct an Internet search for “online wills” or “estate planning software” to find options.
Should my spouse and I have a joint will or separate wills?
Odds are you and your spouse won’t die at the same time, and there’s probably property that’s not jointly held. That’s why separate wills make better sense.
Who should act as a witness to a will?
Any person can act as a witness to your will, but you should select someone who isn’t a beneficiary. Otherwise there’s the potential for a conflict of interest. Some states require two or more witnesses. If a lawyer drafts your will, he or she shouldn’t serve as a witness.
Not all states require a will to be notarized, but some do. You may also want to have your witnesses sign what’s called a self-proving affidavit in the presence of a notary. This affidavit can speed up the probate process because your witnesses likely won’t be called into court by a judge to validate their signatures and the authenticity of the will.
Who should I name as my executor?
You can name your spouse, an adult child, or another trusted friend or relative as your executor. If your affairs are complicated, it might make more sense to name an attorney or someone with legal and financial expertise. You can also name joint executors, such as your spouse or partner and your attorney.
One of the most important things your will can do is empower your executor to pay your bills and deal with debt collectors. Make sure the wording of your will allows for this, and also gives your executor leeway to take care of any related issues that aren’t specifically outlined in your will.
How do I leave specific items to specific heirs?
If you wish to leave certain personal property to certain heirs, indicate as much in your will. In addition, you can create a separate document called a letter of instruction that you should keep with your will.
A letter of instruction, which isn’t legally binding in some states, can be written more informally than a will and can go into detail about which items go to whom. You can also include specifics about items that will help your executor settle your estate including account numbers, passwords and even burial instructions.
Where should I keep my will?
If you put the will in a bank safe deposit box that only you can get into, your family might need to seek a court order to gain access. A waterproof and fireproof safe in your house is a good alternative.
Your attorney or someone you trust should keep signed copies in case the original is destroyed. Signed copies can be used to establish your intentions. However, the absence of an original will can complicate matters, and without it there’s no guarantee that your estate will be settled as you’d hoped.
How often does a will need to be updated?
It’s possible that your will may never need to be updated — or you may choose to update it regularly. The decision is yours. Remember, the only version of your will that matters is the most current valid one in existence at the time of your death.
Who has the right to contest my will?
Contesting a will refers to challenging the legal validity of all or part of the document. A beneficiary who feels slighted by the terms of a will might choose to contest it. Depending on which state you live in, so too might a spouse, ex-spouse or child who believes your stated wishes go against local probate laws.
A will can be contested for any number of other reasons: it wasn’t properly witnessed; you weren’t competent when you signed it; or it’s the result of coercion or fraud. It’s usually up to a probate judge to settle the dispute. The key to successfully contesting a will is finding legitimate legal fault with it. A clearly drafted and validly executed will is the best defense.
To read the full story, go to the link.
Black Women & Stress
Stress, Depression & Anxiety: An Escalating Epidemic For Professional Black Woman
Nationwide — Half of black American women report that they experience severe stress, while only a quarter of Caucasian women in the US report extreme stress. Research indicates that black women are also more likely to experience major depression and anxiety disorders, and Black women’s symptoms are more severe than those of their white counterparts.
In addition, African American woman are disproportionally affected by stress-related diseases like hypertension, obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. Dr. Adwoa Akhu, an expert in stress management, shows women of color how to stop running on empty so they can think, feel, and live better, with increased joy and decreased stress.
“The first step toward alleviating the heavy weight carried by the ‘strong black woman’, as well as addressing the resulting mental and physical damage, is the practice of self-care,” explains Dr. Akhu, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and founder of the Redefining the Strong Black Woman movement.
Dr. Akhu says that black woman can reduce their stress levels and increase joy by incorporating the following three tools into their hectic lives:
* Focusing on gratitude
* Learning to meditate
* Engaging in daily self-care
Dr. Akhu’s new book, Cultivating Inner Peace: A Sustainable System for Professional Black Women, documents her simple to follow, time tested, powerful system. Cultivating Inner Peacemakes it easy to draw in the positive, clear out the negative, and use even small windows of time to foster mindfulness, clarity, and joy in our daily lives, which will lead to better relationships with ourselves and others.
Cultivating Inner Peace is:
* A practical system: it provides maximum insight in minimum time from brief, specially formatted chapters that make it easy for busy people to consume in just a few minutes at a time.
* Spiritually based and supported by science: powerful spiritual wisdom that is validated by psychological research.
* Easy to relate to: Dr. Akhu includes examples from her personal experience as well as stories from people she has helped to illustrate real-world applications of the program.
Dr. Akhu is an author, speaker, and former president of the NY Association of Black Psychologists who regularly teaches NYPD Hostage Negotiators about mental health and mental illness. She is a master workshop facilitator, offering topics such as: Redefining What it Means to be a “Strong Black Woman,” Working on Empty: The Antidote for Secondhand Stress, and Rewiring the Brain to Combat Stressful Involuntary Bias. Dr. Akhu is also a wife and mother of two girls.
Learn more at http://www.drakhu.com
NFL – Roc Nation Partnership
New York, NY – Roc Nation announced it has entered into a long-term partnership with the National Football League as the league’s official Live Music Entertainment Strategists. The partnership will begin as the NFL’s 100th season kicks off and will serve as a commitment from Roc Nation and the NFL to nurture and strengthen community through music and the NFL’s Inspire Change initiative.
Roc Nation will spearhead and advise on the selection of artists for NFL tentpole performances, including the Super Bowl, and will assist in the production and promotion of new music as well as culture- and cause-focused initiatives.
A core component of the partnership will be to amplify the Inspire Change platform priority areas identified by NFL Players, including Education and Economic Advancement, Improving Police-Community Relations, and Criminal Justice Reform.
“With its global reach, the National Football League has the platform and opportunity to inspire change across the country,” said Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter. “Roc Nation has shown that entertainment and enacting change are not mutually exclusive ideas – instead, we unify them. This partnership is an opportunity to strengthen the fabric of communities across America.”
Roc Nation and the NFL will work together to create and distribute music content across multiple music streaming services for a variety of initiatives. Roc Nation will work alongside the league with artists to curate the richness of football culture nationwide. Content initiatives may include a Live Visual Album, “Songs of the Season” original music, archived and current content from live NFL music events and artist podcasts.
“Roc Nation is one of the most globally influential and impactful organizations in entertainment,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “The NFL and Roc Nation share a vision of inspiring meaningful social change across our country. We are thrilled to partner with Roc Nation and look forward to making a difference in our communities together.”
Roc Nation will also consult and collaborate on various aspects of production, promotion, marketing, and communications for live music events and related activations, which include new endeavors such as Songs of the Season and a Pro Bowl Community Concert.
We Buy Black Convention
Black Consumers and Sellers Gear Up For Historic We Buy Black Convention
The second annual event plans to honor the enslaved Africans who arrived in 1619, and reclaim the power of Black commerce.
This August marks 400 years since the first Africans reached the shores of Jamestown, Virginia where they were auctioned for sale as slaves. In remembrance of this historic event, one millennial entrepreneur is planning a different kind of sale – one that he hopes will impact the next 400 years of African-American history.
On Aug. 23-25, 2019, over 120 Black-owned vendors and consumers will gather at the second-annual We Buy Black Convention in Atlanta at the Georgia International Convention Center. There will be Black-owned companies selling everything from soaps and shea butter to laundry detergent, bed linens, and toothbrushes. While the items themselves may represent the routines of everyday life, event organizer and founder of e-commerce site WeBuyBlack.com, Shareef Abdul-Malik says that the impact of this singular commercial event has significance beyond its surface.
“This year’s convention is deeper on a lot of levels because our people were brought to this country to be bought and sold,” said Abdul-Malik. “So, not only are we honoring our ancestors and how their struggle for freedom and justice got us where we are today, but we’re also reclaiming the effects of capitalism that enslaved us in the first place.”
At just 27, Abdul-Malik is already a veteran when it comes to connecting Black consumers with Black-owned businesses, but he hopes this convention will help get the Black community excited about the wide variety of high-quality products Black businesses have to offer and inspire others to become business owners themselves.
“Our mission is for the average Black family to be able to easily and efficiently buy everything they want and need from a Black vendor,” Abdul-Malik said. “We’ve been able to help business owners sell and market their goods, but now we need more Black manufacturers.”
With the theme “Setting the Precedent for the Next 400 Years”, the convention will begin with the Inaugural The Next 400 Gala, honoring Yusuf Salaam of the Central Park 5, Mo’Nique the comedian and entertainer, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf who preceded Kaepernick by 20 years and lost his NBA career due to his political stance, and lastly Dr. Key Hallmon of the Village Market ATL. This Gala will be hosted by Derrick Boazman of WAOK 1380 Radio, and Cleveland Councilman Bashir Jones will be the Keynote Speaker. There are only 400 tickets available to attend this Gala that Friday evening.
The weekend includes workshops on business ownership and manufacturing, alongside the vast array of Black-owned products that will be sold. There will also be B2B Speed Consulting Sessions and a “Shark Tank” style pitch competition called Pitch Black.
The event also boasts live performances from national and local recording artists, a Popcorn Competition, and a Children’s Village, where youth participants can engage with Black-owned brands and performers on their own level.
On Sunday, August 25th, The We Buy Black Convention will be the United States satellite location to observe the international moment of silence in commemoration for the 400 years. This weekend will be full of notable moments in our history and it’s definitely something that deserves our participation.
“Even if you just come to replenish your supply of toothbrushes or get your child a new backpack for school, you’ve contributed to something that will help generations of Black people,” he said. “I think our ancestors would be proud of what we’re trying to do.”
We Buy Black Convention
Aug. 23-25, 2019
Georgia International Convention Center
2000 Convention Center Concourse – Atlanta, GA 30337
Tickets and more information can be found at www.webuyblackconvention.com.
WeBuyBlack.com is the largest online marketplace for Black-owned businesses and individual sellers. By giving Black businesses and sellers access to a diverse, open, and international market, WeBuyBlack stimulates the circulation of wealth among the Black Diaspora and assists Black businesses in providing for families and communities at large.
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