Making a will may seem like a morbid thing to do, but actually, it’s a wise thing to do. If you do want your precious belongings or your money to go to someone specific, you need to have a will. If you don’t have a will, a judge will be the one to decide who gets what in your estate.
If you have any money or valuable belongings and you don’t have a will, your relatives may well be arguing over who gets what. It’s easy to think that Uncle Ralph wanted you to have that collection of paintings, but maybe he wanted to give you and each of your siblings one instead. Don’t set your relatives up to squabble over your belongings. Make a will today, before it’s too late. Death is enough of a difficult time in a family, don’t leave them to argue over your belongings as well. Even if they don’t get what they want from you, at least you’ll know that you made it a bit easier for them to not have more to argue over.
Anyone who doesn’t have a will leaves their belongings to chance. A court of law will have to decide who gets what, including all precious mementos, bank accounts, property and anything else that is left. If you want something specific to go to someone then you need to have a will that states this. Don’t just tell the person that you’re leaving the boat to them, make sure many others know as well. If you die and don’t have it in the will, it’s their word against a lot of other people who may have wanted the same thing.
For many, a will ensures that their specific wishes will indeed be carried out as they want them to be. Perhaps you wish to be buried in a certain manner in a specific cemetery. Maybe you want to be dressed in specific clothing. Maybe you prefer to be cremated. Whatever your preferences are, a will is an opportunity to state them concisely and clearly so that your loved ones will know exactly what you want at the time of your death.
Anyone who has minor children must have a will. It’s only natural for family members to want what is best for minor children if you die. Unfortunately, their definition of “what is best” and your definition of “what is best” may be entirely different. Aunt Edna may have the very best of intentions but you’d never leave the children for her to raise. Give it some thought, who do you want to raise the minor children should something happen? Have you talked with them about it? Do you want the children kept together, or separated? This part of a will is the most important thing to consider if you have any children under the age of 18 at the time of your death.
If you owe any debt you’ll want to arrange for it to be paid first. Then any monies that you have left over you’ll want to disperse to friends or family accordingly. Perhaps you wish to leave a specific amount to a charity, if so, be sure to specify it in your will. Without a will you’re leaving all of this to chance. Make provisions for minor children, make provisions for your home if it is owned. Do you want your heirs to sell your home and divide the money? Do you wish to leave it to your surviving spouse or to a child of yours? Whatever the case may be, make sure it’s loud and clear in your will.
Be sure to tell several people where to find your will. If no one can find your will and you didn’t go through a lawyer that your family is aware of your will could be misplaced or lost. Make a few extra copies and ensure that each family member in the will has a copy or give it to a trusted person such as a lawyer or bank manager. This step is crucial if you want your wishes carried out.
Depending upon where you live a will may cost as much as $100 to $500, but it’s worth every penny if you have peace of mind.