By Clifford York
Statistics show that humans have a 100 percent mortality rate.
Yet, nearly six out of 10 of Americans are unprepared for the inevitable. End-of-life planning isn’t fun. It can seem morbid, depressing and even a little scary. But, it’s also a critical aspect of managing your assets and protecting your family.
We have noticed a disturbing trend during our meetings with prospective clients lately. Either they fall into this 60 percent of people that do not have a will, or, their will is out of date and needs to be updated.
Having a will is arguably one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family. Not only will it help protect your spouse, children and assets, it can also designate exactly how you would like things handled after you pass on.
The benefits of creating a will include:
Decide who gets your assets when you die
The most common and simple reason to make a will is to decide who will get your property when you die. If you don’t designate — the courts will.
Name an executor
After you die, someone needs to wrap up your estate. You can use your will to name an executor, or personal representative to take on this responsibility. Without a will, a court will appoint someone to do this job.
Name a guardian for your children
A will is the only place to nominate a guardian to care for your children. If you don’t need a will for any other reason, and you have minor children, you should make a will. Otherwise, a court will decide who will care for your children.
To make a difficult time less difficult
Losing someone is incredibly hard and the last thing any of us want is to spend hard times dealing with lawyers and family members. Generating a will keeps your loved ones from having to deal with bureaucracy in a time of sadness.
There are many excuses people use for not having a will created. The most common excuse is that people think they do not have enough money to warrant having one. Others do not want to pick and choose what to give different children. Also, many people believe that it may be too expensive to have a will prepared. Another common excuse is that people have told their heirs “who gets what.”
Don’t use these or any other excuses for not having a will prepared. A properly designed will alleviates problems and confusion in the execution of your estate. It will ensure that your assets and property will pass down to the desired people without costly delays.
If you do not have a will — prepare to get one now! We highly recommend that you have an estate planning attorney generate your will for you. There are several local attorneys that have the expertise to prepare your will at a very affordable price. Remember, it will be a lot cheaper to have a will while you are living versus the cost of probate and a court-appointed lawyer with the fees being paid out of your estate.
If there is a will, there is a way. If there is not a will, there will be lawyers, probate courts and chaos with family members that may be unrepairable. If you don’t have a will, the government will make one for you! Is that how you want to leave your legacy?