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I used to think a will was for old people, or for people on their deathbeds. But the truth is that the day you become an independent adult, your love ones need to be in the loop about what to do with you and your money if something ever happens to you. A living will is even more important if others depend on you, like your wife or your kids.
Life does not care about your age. Unforeseeable events happen all the time, so it is better to prepare yourself and protect your family. So why does anyone need a will? A living will is an insurance against stupidity, it provides protection from others mishandling your money and misinterpreting your wishes.
At 25 my wife and I have a will ready to go, we hope it never gets read out loud until we die of old age, but it’s ready none the less. Here are five reasons why you need a living will. You can access a living will and thousands of more legal documents at USLegalforms.com.
1.) Let your family know your wishes
Through a living will, you let your family know things like where you want to be buried, or if you rather be cremated. I know, super gloomy, but God forbid anything happens to you and now your family has to deal with figuring out how to cope with the emotional and the legality of your passing.
With a will, your instructions can be carried out without any questions or confusions. Just because you start one doesn’t mean your chances of dying increase, we’re all gonna die, I hope you’re ok with that! Make sure you let your most trusted family members or friends know where the will is, so they don’t spend time flipping drawers looking for it while they grieve your loss.
2.) Keep everything organized
With a will, everyone close to you gets a snap shot of who you are and what you want. With over 11 provisions, a will lists what your survivor(s) must do about your debt, expenses, real and personal property like your home, your assets, and who speaks on your behalf to represent you and execute those wishes.
It also prevents your family or a probate court from counting all your assets or trying to find how much you owe versus what you own. A living will list all important information regarding your wealth. There’s no reason to leave any of your money hidden, of course, unless you’re towing the line between legal and illegal, or hiding something from the tax man.
3.) Prevent family feuds
There’s nothing worst than discord in the family, it makes everyone uncomfortable. When you have a will, there is no confusion as to who gets what and who doesn’t. You obviously don’t want to give your money away to someone who doesn’t know how to control it or manage it. Your wishes can be as specific as you want. You can list every single piece of furniture or just give the whole house away with everything in it. The point is, a will is yours to customize!
Family fights are bad as it is, but they become even more poisonous when money is involved. You want to be the one that brings or keeps your family together, not the cause of division.
4.) Keep the government away from your money
Speaking of mismanagement of money, let’s talk about the government, and keeping their hands off of your money. Fortunately, Texas (where I live) does not have an estate tax, but as of 2017, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania are the only six that have an estate tax. Laws are subject to change, however. Either way, you don’t want the government trying to divvy up your money however they please. Or even worst, have your assets go to probate court.
5.) Protect your legacy
Do you want your children’s children to enjoy your money and protect their future? That’s what a worthy legacy is all about. Money that makes money even after you are gone is the ultimate money hack! Well, with a will you can make sure your money is appropriately distributed and managed.
You would hate it if most of your cash went to pay for lawyer fees, settling family feuds, or let it go to waste as the government mishandles your money. Even if you don’t have kids, or plan to, you must tell your money where to go, perhaps donate it to charity. What you don’t want is your family mourn losing you on top of dealing with your mishandling of finances.
How to get started
1.) Head over to USLegalforms.com and download a living will. Yes, it’s that easy! There’s no need for you to go to any weird run down government building, or to hire an expensive lawyer. You can start now!
2.) With step by step instructions included, you can complete it by simply filling in the blanks.
3.) Save it as a document on your computer, or print it out. Make sure your spouse or the person speaking on your behalf knows where it is and has access to it. We keep ours in a filing cabinet!
Note: Make sure you update it frequently anytime there is a major life change (kids, moving cities/states/countries, etc.).
I would love to hear how a living will makes you feel, whether it’s starting one or talking about it. Also, what you found confusing, surprising or otherwise.