For our first post, I thought that the best idea would be to introduce Dick and Jane and start things off on a happy note. As I mentioned, this portion of the blog will take Dick and Jane through a variety of life events. It will be impossible to keep the story chronological and linear, so I am not going to try. Do not be surprised if Dick and Jane’s lives have more twists and turns than a soap opera.
First, the family: Dick is a successful graduate of the University of Florida who works as a project development manager for a mid-sized engineering firm. Dick has a salary of $120,000.00 per year and also receives project bonuses when his projects come in on time and/or under budget. In a good year, Dick can receive $40,000 in bonus compensation. His company provides a 401k program to which he actively contributes a portion of his salary. He also is able to provide health insurance for the entire family through his employer at a modest cost.
Jane is a graduate of the University of Georgia. After graduation, Jane worked in marketing for a Fortune 500 company. She stopped working after six years when she had her first child, which also coincided with a major promotion for Dick. Jane has kept a small, home based marketing business going while raising the children, but does not earn a substantial sum of money doing so.
Dick and Jane met at a Georgia –Florida football game in their senior years of college. They began dating after the game and married two years later. Their first child was a son named Jackson, born after four years of marriage. The second child, a daughter named Lindsay was born after 6 years of marriage. The third child, a son named Tim was born after 10 years of marriage. All three children are healthy and active in a variety of activities. Jackson is somewhat rebellious, wild and can find trouble. He struggles a bit in school and requires some tutoring and additional resources. Lindsay is a runner, competing in cross-country and other events. Tim is also athletic, but is very involved in church life and children’s activities at the church.
One of the first concerns for Dick and Jane is the fact that they have never done a Will. They have several friends and colleagues in their ears saying things like:
“Just download it online and do it yourself”
“You need to avoid probate and set up living trusts”
“You cannot name anyone out of state to be guardian of the children”
In our first look at the ways in which O’Dell & O’Neal can help, we will examine the simple will process for couples like Dick and Jane and try and clear up some of the common probate myths and misinformation. Stay tuned. . .