Do you have a will? If you don't, you are not alone. Roughly half of Americans do not have a will, according to a new survey. The reasons for not having a will include common responses like not having time to make one, not wanting to think about their own death or thinking they don't need to have one yet.
Dying without a will can leave your family and estate in disarray. This is especially true if you have minor children or specific wishes for what you want to happen to your estate. Your family will not be aware of how you want your estate distributed or who should receive your assets and possessions after your death. Instead, the state will be in charge of distributing your assets and deciding who will care for your minor children.
A will is essential to protect your wishes, even if you do not have a significant amount of wealth. A will is an important estate planning document. It will make sure your possessions and money are distributed in accordance with your wishes.
What to consider
A will can be tailored to your specific needs. This includes addressing who will be in charge of distributing your assets and possessions, who will be named guardian of any minor children and any special conditions, such as special needs planning or specific requests for heirs.
To help you prepare for creating a will, you should put together a list of:
- Bank accounts, retirement accounts and any other financial accounts
- Property you own or share with someone else
- Family members, including spouses and children
- Special requests or considerations
Thinking about what you want to happen to your estate and your loved ones after you pass away may not be easy, but it will make life easier for your loved ones. Having a will is the first step to make sure your affairs are in order and will help your loved ones honor your wishes and memory.
A will can be a simple or complex as it needs to be. Due to the specific nature and protection a will provides, it is best to consult an attorney to help you evaluate your needs when drafting a will.