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Managing Your Money : The Will of The People

Thrift can lead to wealth, but it won’t buy immortality. Since you can’t take your money with you, everyone probably should have a will.

If you have a lot of assets or a complicated estate, you need a lawyer. If you don’t, and you’re a husband or wife with minor children, you can create a California will from forms like these.

Unfortunately, experts say it’s not a good idea to cut them out and fill in the blanks. You have to retype them, filling in the necessary information. (You also have to be at least 18.)

You can add as many lines as needed for, say, additional children. Your kids will get all property left to them when they turn 18.

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This will is adapted from Nolo’s Simple Will Book (Nolo Press, Berkeley). If it doesn’t suit your situation-if you’re single, for instance-there are other forms that will do. Nolo cautions that, without a lawyer, any will writer needs instructions; check your local library for a guidebook.

California requires that you sign your will before two adult witnesses who aren’t beneficiaries, but you don’t need a notary.

Finally, store it in a safe place. Tell your loved ones where that is. And make sure you live to be 100.


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