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November 2008



Do you really want to be remembered like this?

Your death will create problems. There will be three types - emotional, legal and financial. You can do certain things now, while you're alive, to reduce or increase these problems and make your heirs either love you or hate you.

Emotional Problems - You can increase the emotional upset after your death by leaving your affairs in a mess. Hide your will. Better still, don't make one. Have a number of secret bank accounts and investments.

Keep the records of your assets and liabilities scattered in so many different places that even you can't remember where they all are. Make only a mental summary of the things you own and owe - don't write them down. Assume that you'll always have total control of your faculties and a perfect memory. Plan to live forever.

Legal Problems - Creating legal problems after your demise can further aggravate the emotional trauma. Hide or destroy legal documents. If you own an interest in a business, avoid making a buy-sell agreement. If you're forced to have one, make sure it conflicts with the terms of your will.

Announce at least once a month that you're planning on revising your will, then die without one. If you do make a will, name your Spanish-speaking second cousin in Brazil as your sole executor and your great grandfather as the guardian of your infant children, without telling them. Trust no one.

Financial Problems - Increasing the emotional and legal problems will, of course, increase the expenses your death will create. However, the professionals your family will have to hire to straighten out your mess will be most appreciative.

You can make the financial problems even worse for your family by leaving as little cash as possible and leaving what little you have to strangers. Emphasize that you expect a very expensive funeral, a three-day wake and an Italian marble mausoleum.

Specify the use of the top legal and accounting firms to advise your executors. Then leave very little money to pay for them. Leave only assets that cannot be sold for one reason or another. If they can be sold, make sure the money goes to creditors.

If you have a business buy-sell agreement, make sure it is under-funded. Don't buy any life insurance. If you have some, cancel it. Try to leave your family totally destitute.

The foregoing is tongue firmly in cheek and the exact opposite is recommended. It is unfortunate, though, just how many estates will compound the problems for those left behind. Simple steps should be taken now to avoid making your heirs hate you.

Want help with your estate planning?

Call Hans Mathisen today at (306)242-7042.
or email -


Copyright 2007 Life Letter. All rights reserved

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