By Troy Diffenderfer
Let’s face it, nobody wants to talk about death, especially the older we get. However, having your affairs in order before the time comes can help save a lot of stress and confusion. Many use the old vice of procrastination to put off creating a will, citing “I’ll get to it later” or “I have plenty of time.” Unfortunately, we just don’t know how much time we have on the clock, and that’s exactly why it’s important to create a will. Not only can a will legally protect your spouse, children, and assets, but it can also spell out exactly how you would like things handled after you have passed on. While your situation will always vary, here are some of the top reasons to make a will.
Reasons To Make a Will
The easiest reason that you should have a will in place is that it will cut down on the confusion for your family and legal representatives. Make sure to make your loved ones or attorney aware of where exactly your will is located and how to access it. In many cases, a recently deceased senior will have a will created but will put it away someplace without telling everyone else, often leading to treasure hunts for the document or even a lost will. Having a will set up and disclosed will ensure that there is no confusion.
You Get the Final Say
A will is a legally binding document that lets you determine how you would like your estate to be handled upon your death. If you die without a will, there is no guarantee that your intended desires will be carried out. Having a will helps minimize any family fights about your estate that may arise, and will determine exactly how your affairs should be handled and passed down.
It Keeps Things Out of the Wrong Hands
As much as we don’t want to admit it, we all have friends or family members that we do not want handling our affairs. However, because of intestate succession laws, that is exactly what could happen. Sadly, there have been many cases where a senior’s money and property have ended up in the wrong hands, and families have been torn apart by the allocation of funds. A will gives you the opportunity to put your assets in the hands of someone who will allocate your funds exactly how you want. In your will, you can even specify who gets what upon your passing.
Not many people know that having a will can actually lower the amount of state taxes you have to pay. The value of what you give away to family members or charity will reduce the value of your estate when it’s time to pay estate taxes. A will can also decrease the amount of inheritance tax that your loved ones will have to pay when they receive it. This is yet another reason why it’s important that you create a will so you can make things easier for both yourself and the ones you care about.
You Can Disinherit Others
For one reason or another, you might not want someone to inherit any of your money or property, and you’re entitled to that decision. In fact, it’s encouraged that you specify who should and shouldn’t receive your inheritance. Yes, you may wish to disinherit individuals who may otherwise inherit your estate if you die without a will. Because a will specifically outlines how you would like your estate to be distributed, the absence of a will may mean that your estate may end up in the wrong hands or in the hands of someone you did not intend, and this is exactly what you don’t want.
A will is an important document to have as you age, so make sure to make one as soon as you can. If you need any more information on living wills, or power of attorney, feel free to check out our free resources at SeniorCaring.com.