Many people put off creating a will because, well, it’s not fun to think about death. And the younger you are, the easier it is to put off this important process.
However, by not dealing with the inevitable (we’re all going to die someday), you’re not avoiding it, you’re just making things worse for those you leave behind.
Here are 6 reasons you need a will
Your kids. If you have children, especially dependent children, you NEED a will. Right now. A will is a legal document that provides care for your children if you can’t be around to give it. First and foremost, you need to decide upon a legal guardian. In most cases it’s a surviving spouse. But if you and your spouse are both incapacitated, or you have no parenting partner, who will care for your children? Be sure to ask the people you choose to make sure they’re willing to take on the responsibility.
Your pets. Your pets are part of your family and you want to make sure they’re taken care of. As with your children, ask your designees beforehand. You want to make sure the people you choose are up to the task.
Your home. And all your other physical assets. Do you want them sold, preserved, donated, given to a family member? You worked hard to accumulate everything you have, and a will lets you decide what happens to it after you’re gone. You can put everything in trust for your children, or designate specific items to specific people.
Your money. Just like your stuff, your money can go wherever you want it to (within reason) after you die. Donate it to charity. Pay back the friend you borrowed $200 from in 1982. Leave it all to your cat. Whatever.
Your online presence. Think about how much of our lives we share online today. Did you know that you can designate someone to take over your online accounts? Yep. This person can post on your behalf, perhaps letting your following know you’ve passed, and keep up your accounts in memoriam if you choose.
Your choice. By creating a will, you get a say in what happens to everything you’ve worked so hard to build. Without it, your legal state of residence will determine what happens to the remains of your life. When this happens your estate must go through probate court, and it is open to challenges from anyone. And more of your hard earned money will go to legal fees and the state.
The fact is that being unprepared doesn’t delay death at all. As my father-in-law used to say, when God turns your page, that’s it. The least you can do for your family and other loved ones is give them the gift of a last will and testament.
Do you have a will? Share in the comments.