A revocable living trust allows your heirs to avoid probate entirely and keeps you in complete control of your finances while you're alive. You can always make changes to what's in the trust and to how you'd ultimately like it managed or disbursed.
If you're saving for the long run, it's actually a good thing when the market is down because the more shares you have, the more you can potentially make when markets rise. And over time - decades, not months - the markets rise more than they fall.
If you're going to live in the house make it your goal to just pay off your mortgage.
A pile of bills and statements - whether paid or not - is a sign that someone is clueless about what's coming in and going out.