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Wills are not something most people like talking about. They’re constantly associated with death, which makes sense as this is the only time your will will matter. As a result, the majority of us probably don’t have wills written. It feels like something you only write when you’re getting older or perhaps have a terminal medical condition.
On the contrary, you should have a will even when you’re young and healthy. If you have money and assets, you should have a will. It’s all part of financial planning and can actually be really useful for your family. If the worst-case scenario happens and you do tragically pass away without any warning, a will can be used to help your family in numerous ways.
So, here’s why you should have one:
Dictate where your money & assets go
The main part of a will is to explain where you want all of your money and assets to go. It’s mentioned on the Hunt & Hunt Lawyers site that some states have different rules from others. This could mean that all of your money gets sent to the wrong person or people when you die.
A common mix-up is when you separate from a spouse but aren’t technically divorced. Legally, you are married to them, so they could be entitled to your assets. If you’ve started a new family with someone else, this can cause all sorts of problems for them.
Similarly, you may want some of your money to go to specific charities or causes. Perhaps you had a strong affinity with a charity that helped you or a family member at some point in your life. It’s always been your intention to donate a large sum when you pass, but this won’t happen without a will. There will be nothing in legally binding writing that dictates how much money you want to donate or to whom.
Writing a will clears all of this up. You can pick and choose where your money goes, who gets what and how much they get. It’ll avoid putting your family through stress when you’re gone while also ensuring your hard-earned money is put to good use.
Outline information about child support
All people should write a will, but it’s even more important for single parents.
If you were to pass away, what would happen to your kids? Who would look after them? How would they get any financial support? As mentioned above, your will can deal with the financial side of things by clearly showing that all of your money goes to your children and should be used to help look after them.
At the same time, you can write in your will who you want the guardian of your children to be. Obviously, consult with the person/people before you put this in, so it isn’t a surprise for them. Complications can arise when a single parent passes and the state decides who has custody of their kids. It could mean they end up with an estranged parent that has never been there for them their whole life, or possibly put into foster care. To avoid any doubt or bad decisions, you can outline what happens to them, ensuring they live a fulfilling life in your absence.
Make the grieving process easier for your loved ones
This is something that most people don’t appreciate about wills. A good will can inform loved ones of your last wishes. You can tell them how you want to be buried, or if you’d rather be cremated, etc. You can also include information telling them that you don’t want a big ceremony or you’re happy with a very cheap funeral. It’s also possible to leave money in your will to specifically cover funeral costs.
Things like this can make the grieving process easier for loved ones. When you lose someone close to you, the last thing you need is the stress of planning a funeral or trying to figure out what that person would’ve wanted. Your will can prevent this stress by making everything clear.
Plus, the fact you have a will will also take care of other stress. As we’ve already said, it clears up any financial or childcare disputes, so everything can go smoothly without debate.
As you can see, it’s really important to have a will. This doesn’t mean you’re planning on leaving anytime soon, but you never know what life throws at you. It’s better to have a will and not need it for decades than to not have one at all. Even if you’re fit and healthy, you should consider putting a will together – especially if you have children and assets.