Having a Will in place is one of the most important things you can do to protect your family. It’ll give you the peace of mind of knowing that your family will be taken care of should something happen to you.
Here are the top 5 reasons why you shouldn’t delay creating your Will:
1. Give your stuff to the people you want
Most people don’t realize that if you don’t have a Will, the State will distribute your property according to their plan (called intestate succession). Isn’t there anything special, a baseball card collection or pieces of jewelry, you want to give to a family member so they can always remember you? Or what if someone in your life will get a portion of your estate, and you don’t want that to happen? A will makes your intentions known.
2. Take care of your children
Picking a legal guardian, someone who watches your child until they’re 18, is one of the most important reasons to complete a will. If you leave it up to the court, they may not pick the person you’d like to take on that role. And if you haven’t talked about it, wouldn’t it be a good idea to let that person know? Make sure your kids are well cared for if someone else is doing the parenting. Even if you don’t care who gets your stuff, you care about this.
3. Give to your favorite charity
One of the benefits of creating a Will is that you can identify which assets you’d like to donate to your favorite charity. Maybe you’re a human rights advocate or you like pets or you believe in the work of your church. Whatever the cause, providing resources through a will is a perfect way to ensure that their work can continue.
4. Avoid problems and delays
Every Will gets submitted to a special court, called a probate court (that’s what it means to “probate” a Will). Assuming there are no problems with your Will, the State will appoint your Will Agent to ensure that your last wishes are enforced. Having a Will helps this process move quickly, ensuring your beneficiaries (the people who receive things in your Will) receive your legacy without delay.
5. An executor (or will agent) can represent your wishes
In today’s world, it’s likely that you have many practical aspects of your life that will need closure. Credit cards, bank accounts and sorting out any bills or debts owed to you, not to mention all the social media sites you may use. How about your music library or family photos? Don’t let those get lost. An executor can take care of all those things and get them to the people who will cherish them for a lifetime.