I shall be 70 in August 2022. I have a 401(k), a checkbook and a life-insurance policy.
My younger brother has drug-related dementia, so I see no point in giving him money. He has already proven that he cannot spend wisely. Hopefully, I shall outlive him.
Here is my dilemma: I have no family or relatives who I know, or care to know. I have no interest in “causes” or “charities” for the same reason.
I do not believe in charities, as I do not approve of the “liberal” donations of whatever charity I would choose. Nothing or no-one seems to interest me to bequeath my estate.
My older brother was a Vietnam casualty, but each and every Vietnam charity is either staffed by angry veterans, or run by people too young to remember the war or its disasters.
I do not have a will. Where do I leave my money? I do not know what to do.
You have very strong opinions about charities and causes. If this dilemma related your estate allows you to reflect on your life, that’s a positive development. The only thing that is required of us — I believe — is that we leave this world in the same condition upon which we entered it or, ideally, we leave it in even better shape. Our job is to get in and get out of the world without breaking anything.
Intestacy laws vary from state to state. In New York, for example, if you die intestate, without a will, and you have no immediate relatives left walking this earth — no spouse, parent, sibling, or descendants of siblings that survive you — your assets will be divided between your father’s and mother’s relatives. That’s after legal fees. So think seriously about a will, and what you will write in it.
Of course, not all charities for Vietnam War veterans are staffed with angry people, just as not all “causes” are somehow innately useless or corrupt. No two people are alike, and they volunteer their time — the most valuable commodity on this planet and more valuable than any 401(k) or bank account — because they want to help other people and to be of service to those less fortunate than themselves.
If you don’t trust or like other people, that’s your prerogative. I have no knowledge of your life, or what you have gone through. Not everyone has had positive experiences with loving, supportive and nourishing people when they were young. Of course, that will influence how we view the world. It could easily lead to a lack of …….