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Do You Need a Will?

Wills have been around for a long time. The oldest known will was found in a tomb in Egypt and dates to 2548 BC. It doesn't matter if you are young, old, or in-between; if you own property - you need a will. And here is another article we did on where to house your will.

Almost anyone who has reached the age of majority owns some property. If you are young, that could consist of your car, your checking or savings account, your computer, your cell phone, and your MP3 player. If you are older, you likely have a more complicated estate.

Your will can be simple. The two shortest wills on record, Karl Tausch - “all to wife,” and Bimla Rish - “all to son,” are only three words. Or it can be as complicated as you want to make it. The longest will on record was by Fredericka Evelyn Stillwell Cook who died in 1925. It was 1,066 pages and was mostly in her own handwriting.

Many famous Americans have died without a will. Among them are Barry White, Kurt Cobain, Sonny Bono and many others in the entertainment industry. Howard Hughes, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Abraham Lincoln also died with no wills and Lincoln was an attorney!

In many cases these estates were not settled for years due to conflicting claims from wives, ex-wives, girl friends, children, illegitimate children, other family members and creditors. Don’t let that happen to your loved ones. If you don’t have a will, get one. If you have not updated an existing will in several years, review it and change it, if necessary. And don’t try to cut corners or costs here. Simple mistakes in do-it-yourself wills can cost your beneficiaries later. If you have more than a three word will; you should probably consult with an attorney.

-By Beverly DeVeny and Jared Trexler


Jared & Beverly,

This week a video about a gay couple was being passed around on facebook. It was about how the surviving partner was cut out of the process of settling the estate, etc (so nasty!).

How might a will help a gay couple? What might they need to do - is a will enough?

Also, how about DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) - where would that fit in?

I still want to do an article on this whole area... with DOMA at the center (or hub).

-- Rick

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Thursday's Slott Report Mailbag

Consumers: Send in Your Questions to [email protected]

Can I transfer money from my IRA to my husband's Roth IRA? I am 35, and he is 36.

Thank you!

Gail Clements

No. The only way your IRA funds can be transferred to your husband’s IRA is in a divorce or after your death. Even then, it would have to be transferred to a similar IRA, for example an IRA to IRA or a Roth IRA to another Roth IRA. In this case, you cannot transfer your IRA into your husband’s Roth IRA.