“I don’t need a will because…X, Y and Z”. For some, the word ‘Will’ or “Last Will and Testament” often accompanies thoughts of morbidity and death. For others, it may seem overwhelming and costly. For others, they simply feel they don’t have enough “stuff” be it children, property, possessions or money to go through the hassle. Well, guess what? A will is the single most important document every person should have. Let’s tackle these myths…
If doom and gloom rear their ugly heads when you hear the word ‘Will’, think of a will as a LIVING document that accompanies you through life. Think of it as a quasi-journal of sorts, outlining and stockpiling the items you’ve worked so hard for on this journey we call life. Token mementos from your efforts (post graduate degrees, medals of honor, etc), the dream home you worked so hard to attain and lastly, the financial fruit of your labor (money). Anytime you achieve a big goal or dream in life, chances are there is a symbol or byproduct that should be added to your will to carry on your legacy once you’re gone. Will’s can be a creative way to track life’s progresses.
The thought that a will is overwhelming and costly is easily disputed…Wouldn’t you rather take on the task and nominal cost of writing a will now to save your family and friends a stressful, slow and costly process after your death? Without a will, once you’re gone, your wishes may not be known to family and friends. Thus, everything you own may not be dispersed the way you wish; it’ll be done in a way solely defined by the laws of Texas. Also, preparing a will now can generally save your estate in the amount of inheritance tax that may be payable.
Every single person has enough “stuff” to have a will. Will’s don’t only cover cash and big ticket items like homes and cars. Did you know many of the most contested items covered in a will are also some of the most insignificant in monetary value? What about your wedding ring, your diploma, your family photos and your elaborate Elvis Presely stamp collection? What about Pepe the (beloved and fierce!) Chihuahua?
Preparing a will can be a fulfilling task. Take a look around, begin thinking about what you’d like your legacy to be, and take action! Whether you write a will yourself, use a template, or contract an attorney to discuss and prepare a will for you, I’d encourage you to do so. You’ll be surprised at how comforting it is taking control of your life, and legacy!