According to polls done by nationally renowned financial journals, at least half of all adults don’t have a last will and testament. There are a few reasons for this, including the idea that making a will isn’t an urgent need or a will is simply unnecessary.
Of course, many people avoid writing a will because they don’t want to remember that they are mortal.
A will is necessary and you should write one as soon as possible. If nothing else, you can go back to ignoring death but rest assured that your wishes will be carried out.
Taking Care of the Kids
If you’re a parent of minor children, you need to write a will that defines who will raise your children should you be unable to do so. If you die intestate—with no will in place—the courts will determine who has custody of your children. A judge will evaluate information available but you are much more familiar with your friends and family. While a judge may consider that your brother already has two children and might be a good father, you may not want this option because you disagree with his methods of childrearing and would prefer your childless sister raise your children. Further there are issues beyond the age of majority which need to be considered such as creating trusts to protect young adults from making immature decisions.
Spreading Your Wealth
There are many movies in which the reading of a will is set in a plush library and the amounts distributed are thousands if not millions of dollars. You may feel that you don’t have any real money to spread around because you’re living paycheck to paycheck.
However, most people forget about assets that are easily forgotten, such as life insurance policies. Why think about money that will only appear after you’re gone from this world? If you are making premium payments, you are likely doing so to provide financial help to loved ones. If you want the money to go pay for your child’s college education, you will need to create a will to ensure that wish is carried out. Going back to our example, you may want your sister to raise your children but don’t trust her spending habits. You may want your brother to administer the estate to avoid her taking the kids on trips and buying them toys, depleting the college fund before they reach 18.
Issues for the living:
A medical power of attorney will appoint a healthcare agent so that you can choose who will act on your behalf if you cannot speak to your doctors about your own health choices. Think about your family members and how they might respond if a doctor presented them with options for treatment. Who would you trust to do what you would want done? A living will provides guidance to your loved ones and medical providers how you want them to treat you at the end of life. A Power of Attorney can empower your loved ones to continue to handle your legal affairs if you should need their help. These are just a few of the legal issues you can face during your lifetime.
Furey, Donovan, Tracy & Daly, P.C. can help you create a will and the documents necessary to protect your wishes should you be unable to speak for yourself or die. If you care about yourself and your family, a will is a painless way to ensure your voice is heard.