I have to confess something. Currently, my husband and I don’t have a will. Chances are you don’t either.
If you are like me, you thought only your parents had a will. Maybe you thought only people with kids, lots of money, or spouses needed one.
Everyone needs a will.
I have known this for the last 2 years since we took Financial Peace University. So why haven’t we done it? Laziness, and belief that tomorrow would be fine, so I didn’t need a will today.
Every time I thought about it I would get this pit in my stomach and my throat would tighten a bit, so finally last week I went and scheduled an appointment to create a will. They gave me some paperwork to talk over and fill out with my husband. Some of the questions were: how do I want to be buried, if I am on life support do I want to be kept alive artificially, who do I want to make decisions for me if I can no longer take care of myself?
This is pretty heavy stuff, but you know what, if my husband and I don’t make a will together we might not ever discuss these REALLY important issues. Death and hardship is tough to talk about, but a will is not supposed to be a depressing thing where you think about what happens when you die.
What is a will supposed to be?
It should be a blessing and guide to your family so that if something terrible happens they don’t need to wonder what you want or what they should do.
A will should help to reduce stress in a time that may be filled with grief.
It is a gift that provides great security and peace of mind.
We owe that to our parents, siblings, spouse, children, and friends don’t we?
So, if you are thinking that you might want a will, what next?
Search for a lawyer that does estate planning. The process usually will cost a few hundred dollars, but find the money. It’s worth it. There are also free forms that you can often find online, but be careful with these as there can be gaps and things that aren’t covered. Keep in mind that this is a binding legal document and you want it done right. If you are connected to the military, you have access to free legal counsel, so this process will be free. Take advantage of it!
Here is some info and topics that will be covered in your will:
- Information about yourself and your family.
- Your plan of distribution. (Real estate, special items/heirlooms, financial assets.)
- Trusts and special considerations. (Optional-Usually used when there is a blended family situation or minor children involved.)
- Executor or Personal Representative. (Who is going to carry out the directions written out in your will?)
- Guardian of the Children.
- Durable power of attorney for health care. (Names someone who can make medical decisions on your behalf when you no longer can.)
- Living Will/Advanced medical directive/declaration. (Although not a part of your will, this is essential. It conveys your desires in regards to life support.)
- Springing durable general power of attorney. (Names someone who can handle your personal and financial affairs while you are alive if you become unable to do so.)
This process can seem weird/stressful/depressing, but it doesn’t have to be. Keep in mind why we need a will, and who it will bless when we are gone.
Having a will is a way to show your love to the people you love most! I can’t wait to have mine done, can you?