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Hodgepodge from The Geranium Farm

Debbie Sharp Loeb, teacher by training but full-time mom to a disabled son, craftsperson, bead artist, great cook, creative homemaker & terrific spotter of cool new products for everything under the sun, presents Hodgepodge: recipes, household hints, stories about children, friends & relatives, cool stuff, music, & much more.

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Where There's a Will, There's a Way

This isn't something we like to think about but it's something that needs to be done. Here's some information to at least get you thinking about it. Make this the year you get it done!
(This information comes from USA Weekend (11/30-12/2/07) article by Sharon Epperson.)

"More than 70% of Americans don't have a will, and parents with minor children are less likely to have one". This information comes from a national survey done by the online legal document company
If you die intestate, that's without a will, the state -not you- decides how to divide up your estate.
You can draft a basic will at the fraction of the cost of using an attorney with the use of a software kit, website, or books.
For a basic will and health care power of attorney there's Quicken WillMaker Plus 2008 edition(The book & CD-ROM cost $32.99 on and it also has information on planning & budgeting for a funeral.
For online form websites:,,
Prices start at about $20 and then varies depending upon the number of forms you need and the number of changes you can make.
There's Nolo's Simple Will Book by Denis Clifford that contains how to select an executor, handle debts and taxes, reduce estate taxes and probate fees, and how to make changes to or revoke an earlier will, and other topics.
Of course an estate planning attorney can answer all kinds of questions and to find one in your area you can go to Be sure to read the site's advice on screening a potential attorney before you sign for any services.

Here's some additional information that HP reader Dee in Las Cruces, NM has emailed me.
"Another thing is that in many states, parents with under-age
children who have been adopted, the parents having no will, those
children become wards of the state. Any adoptive parents will want to
avoid this at all costs. It's the first thing one should do immediately
after adopting a child of any age but especially those under-age (l6 or
so) - this may vary according to state. It's worth checking out with an

See also these 2 HodgePodge postings from the past:

A-Pass-Along (Advanced Medical Directives)

Emergency Medical Information Sheet


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