Here's Why You Need One
I get it. No one likes talking about Wills because no one likes thinking about death—and I don't blame you. The world feels heavy and we all need an escape from the endless onslaught of doomsday scenarios and daily responsibilities.
However, this mindset about Wills has led many of us to fail to create one, despite it being one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family. Below we dispel a few common myths about Wills, discuss who needs a Will and explore why you shouldn't wait to create one.
A Will, also referred to as a Last Will and Testament, is a legal document that states your intentions for the distribution of your property and assets after you die. If you have children, a Will also outlines who will care for them if something happens to you.
So, who needs a Will? Despite what you see in movies, Wills aren't just for wealthy folks that have greedy family members fighting over their belongings when they mysteriously die. Every person over the age of 18 needs a Will, regardless of their worth on paper. Arguably, creating a Will is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family.
Creating a Will right now— regardless of your age or financial situation—ensures that you have a say in who your estate will pass to and how your pets, property and minor children will be taken care of.
Why do I need a Will, you ask? For one, if you pass away without a Will, you're considered "intestate." This means the laws of the state will direct how to divide up your estate, without your input. If you die without a Will and have no heirs, your estate could pass to the state. You should have the ultimate say in what you do with your assets and how your loved ones are taken care of when you pass.2. Minimize Family Conflicts
We've all heard of cases where the surviving family members must grieve while squabbling with their siblings. Upon your death, your loved ones will want to mourn—not referee arguments. When it comes to your wishes, there should be no room for misinterpretation that could lead to conflict or legal action.3. Ensure Your Loved Ones Are Cared For
If you have minor children, your Will also designates who will take care of them if something happens to you. Without a Will, the court must decide who is appropriate to be your children's guardian—again, without your input. Having a Will makes it clear who you trust to become the guardian of your children. Your Will can also designate who will care for your beloved pets, who deserve all the best in life too.4. Create a Lasting Legacy
Whether you wish to leave everything to your children and spouse or donate it to a charity with a mission that matters to you, a Will gives you the final say. Create a legacy that gives your life meaning instead of letting the state decide who will receive your assets.5. Live for Today and Plan for Tomorrow
Tomorrow isn't guaranteed. It's important to live in the moment but it's also important to plan for the future—even if you're still young and full of life. While some younger adults start a Will when they become financially independent from their parents, often in their early 20s, others create one when they get married or have children.