What do you want to happen when you die? Because someday, you will die. Have you taken the time to put together a written will that explains clearly what you want to happen to your estate when you die? I think a lot times we put this planning off because we do not want to think about death or we do not think that we have enough assets that this planning is important. If this applies to you, you are not alone! The fact is, over 70% of Americans will die without a written will or plan in place for their loved ones.
A will does not have to be a long, complicated process. There are a couple of different ways to create a will.
The first is called a Holographic Will. Here, you can write a will entirely in your own handwriting and simply sign and date. This is perfectly legal in many states and can be used to communicate your final wishes. The problem comes in when people do not know how to write them clearly and contradict themselves which causes pain to those left behind.
The second way to create a will is to hire an attorney to draw up a Simple Will. This is the best way to assure that all state laws are met. A Simple Will also allows you to list an inventory of your assets and decide, clearly, where you want each item to go. This is the way to be certain that the assets you have accumulated throughout your life are passed on to those you care most about.
A written will allows you to do a variety of different things.
A written will allows you to appoint guardians for your dependents.
You might not know exactly who you would want as a guardian for your dependents if something were to happen to you, but I can guarantee that you know who you DO NOT want taking care of them. Take the time to decide who would be the best caregiver for your children and other dependents and put it in writing.
A written will allows you to determine where your assets will go.
An essential part of a will is deciding where you want all of your “stuff” to go. Cars, jewelry, houses, and family heirlooms will all go to someone. Decide this for yourself and put it in writing so there is no question what your wishes are. The last thing you want is a family fight to break out over who gets to keep what.
A written will is our legacy gift to our Savior.
Once you die, your children and Uncle Sam will get a portion of your estate. In the midst of this, it is easy to forget leaving a gift behind to the church. This is important because it can and will be used to bless many others. What do you have that you have not already been given, anyway?
A written will is your opportunity to leave behind letters of gratitude.
Arguably one of the most important thing a will allows you to do is leave behind letters to those around you who meant the most. These letters that you write before you pass can explain how you feel about people and what exactly they meant to you. They will be cherished for long after you are gone and will mean more than any asset you could have passed down.
Death is not a fun topic to talk about but it is so important as it is something that will happen to every, single one of us. Why would we not we plan for it if we know it is coming? Get your estate plans in order now and update them as your life changes.
Need more information on end of life planning? Check out ForeTalk – a complete and simplified guide to prepare for one of every family’s most difficult times written and taught by Stan Craig HERE.
Check out our interview with Stan Craig where he goes into more detail about end of life planning HERE. You can listen to the Monday Money Tip Podcast HERE. While you’re here, make sure to subscribe and leave us a rating to let us know what you think!