Do we need a will? And other questions of interest to readers, by Mary Hunt
Dear Mary: My husband and I just had our first child, and now that we have a new little life that depends on us, we want to make sure that she is always taken care of. Neither of us have a will, but I think it’s important to make one just in case. The problem is, we’ve never thought of a will, let alone have an idea of what to include. Do you have any indications? – Volunteer parents
Dear consenting parents: First of all, congratulations on your new addition! You are right about the money. You need to create your will, indicating how you want your assets to be distributed and also name who will become your child’s legal guardian (plus a replacement in case your first choice isn’t available), if you die together. If a court needs to step in and appoint a guardian, the judge will appoint the person you named in your will, unless it is not in the best interests of your child (ren) for some reason. If you do not name a guardian in your will, anyone interested can apply for the position. The judge must then decide, without the benefit of your opinion, who will do the best job at raising your children.
You can write your own wills and then have them certified and signed by three people who are not named as beneficiaries in the wills. However, I suggest that this is too important to be left to chance. Spend a few dollars to make sure you are doing everything right according to the requirements of your particular state. You can make an appointment with a local lawyer who specializes in estate planning. Or you can do it yourself using quality, reliable and well-controlled software. Go to www.Nolo.com and check out Quicken Willmaker & Trust 2022. For less than $ 100, you can download all the forms and documents for the legal documents every adult needs, including your individual wills and custody instructions. minor children. Hope this can help!
THE REAL DEAL ABOUT FREE CREDIT REPORTS
Dear Mary: Recently I went online and was ready to order a copy of my credit report when I noticed a little warning at the bottom of the page that said I would be charged a monthly fee of $ 10 for credit monitoring services. I immediately canceled the request. Is this legal and can you recommend a truly free site? – Call me skeptical
Dear skeptic: Yes. The law requires that the credit bureaus give each person a free credit report each year, upon request. It also grants permission for bureaus to attempt to “sell” or advertise other products and services to consumers at the time they request their reports. Just keep saying “no thanks” as you click on it. The best place to get your free reports is at the official website, www.AnnualCreditReport.com, by calling 1 877 322-8228 or by writing to the Annual Credit Report Request Service, PO Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348- 5281.
Keep in mind that you are entitled to one free report each year from each of the big three credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax). However, you don’t have to get them all at once. Since your three reports should show the same information, I suggest you shift them so that you get a free updated report every four months.
NEED TO REGISTER ABM TICKETS?
Dear Mary: It bothers me: at my bank’s ATM, there is a big trash can where everyone throws their slips. It seems like a bad idea to throw them away as they show the balance and transaction information. But being careful means I end up with an overloaded and cluttered wallet. Should I save them and what’s the best way to get rid of them? – Over-slipped
Dear OS: Ignore this garbage and save your ATM receipts. You will need this when you receive your bank statement to verify that all of your deposits and withdrawals have been correctly posted to your account. Keep your receipts in chronological order in the pocket of your checkbook, wallet, purse, or wherever convenient for you. Just make sure you always put this receipt in one place so that it becomes a useful habit.
Banks make mistakes, and those little slips may be your only proof. Having said that, once everything is verified, get rid of them. As with any financial document, the safest way to get rid of ATM receipts is to use a paper shredder. But if you don’t have one, you can just tear them up before you throw them away. Since they don’t show your account number or other very sensitive information, the slips aren’t too much of a concern.
Mary invites you to visit her on EverydayCheapskate.com, where this column is archived with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/contact/, “Ask Mary”. Tips can be submitted to tips.everydaycheapskate.com/. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book “Debt-Proof Living”.
Photo credit: Free-Photos at Pixabay