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.
1st African American USAA Chairman to Retire
Retired U.S. Air Force Gen. Lester Lyles has announced the next USAA’s membership meeting in August will be the last as chairman.
Since 2004 General Lyles has been on USAA’s board of directors. He told members that he deeply appreciates their trust and thanked them “for your loyalty through the years” in a recent letter that was part of the annual membership report.
Born April 20, 1946 General Lyles is a former United States Air Force general, Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, and Commander, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. After retirement from the Air Force in 2003, he became a company director for General Dynamics, DPL Inc., KBR Incorporated, Precision Castparts Corp., MTC Technologies, Battelle Memorial Institute and USAA. Lyles is also a Trustee of Analytic Services and a Managing Partner of Four Seasons Ventures, LLC.
In 2017, Lyles earned $461,034 from his role as board chairman, up from $449,910 in 2016. In 2018, Lyles earned $458,499 in salary for the role, records show.
Botswana’s First Skyscraper and Tallest Building
Located in the capital city of Gaborone, Itowers is an establishment comprised of three buildings in total, with the tallest South Tower rising 28 levels above the ground – making it Botswana’s tallest building, an iconic landmark in the city. Located in the center of the city’s vibrant new Central Business District just 20 minutes away from the airport, this complex of condominiums, apartments, office and retail space is perfectly suited for businessmen, diplomats and tourists seeking comfortable temporary accommodations.
It’s also in close proximity to all major government offices, shopping malls, and tourist attractions including the Square Mart Shopping Centre (just 1.2 km or 3/4 mile away), and the Three Dikgosi Monument (also just 1.2 km or 3/4 mile away).
Itowers has 54 outstanding apartments comprising of: 36 Standard rooms, 6 Premium rooms 12 Premium Plus rooms, with balconies opening to city views. They have 2 paraplegic friendly rooms and 12 family rooms.
In addition, Itowers features an on-site stylish and contemporary restaurant called Table50Two, located on the 28th floor of the south tower. The beautiful outdoor setting is set in a loft-life lounge ambience with lounge sofas and breathtaking views of the city. The unique and world class menu is complemented by a comprehensive choice of wine and beverages. It is the highest dining venue in all of Botswana.
When built, the project not only made an impact on the city of Gaborone, but also to the livelihoods of everyone involved in this multi-million dollar project. A total of 4.8 million man hours, 3.5 million bricks, 28 400m3 of cement and millions more hopes and dreams went into designing, erecting and completing the landmark towers.
Botswana is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth in 1966. Since then, it has been a representative republic, with a consistent record of uninterrupted democratic elections and the best perceived corruption ranking in Africa since at least 1998. It is currently Africa’s oldest continuous democracy.
Beyonce Reportedly Made $300 Million From Her Uber Investment
Uber went public last week and their shares have been plummeting ever since. Despite this, singer Beyonce has still managed to score a $300 million profit from her investment. Many are wondering how this is possible since Uber’s shares plunged during the first week, closing as low as 17% below its IPO price!
Well, according to The New York Times, Beyonce received $6 million in restricted stock units (RSUs) from Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick to perform at a private company event in Las Vegas in 2015.
Here’s a little bit of information about restricted stock units (RSU). It’s compensation issued by an employer to an employee in the form of company stock that are assigned a fair market value when they vest. Upon vesting, the stock units are considered income, and a portion of the shares is withheld to pay income taxes. The employee receives the remaining shares and can sell them at his or her discretion.
So, Beyonce, although not a regular employee of Uber, was in fact “an employee” temporarily when she performed at the company’s private event. While the exact value of the shares at the time is not known, it can be assumed that the value was around $20 to $25 per share.
But when Uber’s IPO initially debuted, it started trading at $42 per share. So, if she sold her shares immediately despite the IPO plummeting, she could have easily made $300 million or more from her shares.
Another win for the Beehive!