No one really wants to think about his or her own death. It is an extremely foreboding thought and makes uncomfortable conversation. Failing to make plans for one’s own passing, however, doesn’t mean that it will never happen. Having a will is important for adults of all ages.
A will is the only way you can be certain to have a say in the execution of your estate after your death. Ignoring what is inevitable, even if not for many years in the future, means you are relinquishing decision-making and control to the government. And you needn’t have a family to benefit from having a will. Regardless of your personal circumstances, you probably want to have the final word over what happens to the things that are important to you, whether a home, car, savings or items of monetary or sentimental value.
The solution to relinquishing your assets to the government is to draft a will so that your estate can be handled according to your desires. Rather than having your items sold at auction and your money going to the government, you can designate friends, family members or a charity to receive your last effects.
You give birth or adopt a child;It’s important to make certain that your will is kept up to date. There are certain situations that may void your will or cause unnecessary turmoil amongst the family including:
- You give birth or adopt a child.
- You get married or divorced;
- There are significant changes in your financial situation;
- You move to another state;
- Your executor dies;
- A significant beneficiary dies;
- You change your mind about the distribution of assets.
It’s a difficult conversation to have but there is no alternative. If your senior family member does not have a will, you must talk to them about the importance of planning and having control over the distribution of their money and assets. Additionally, advance planning before they pass will save the surviving family and friends from potential strife and anxiety.
Start slow and let the conversation evolve and be sensitive to your senior’s feelings about their own encroaching mortality. While it might be uncomfortable and stressful to raise the topic of having a will, it surely beats the alternative.