Writing a will is an emotional process. Using a last will and testament can help keep you focused and organized. Learn if they’re right for you here.
Less than half of the U.S. adult population has a Last Will and Testament prepared.
That means that more than half of adults will be totally unprepared in the case of their untimely death. And who will suffer from that unpreparedness? Their own family members and closest friends.
Don't let your death create an unnecessary burden on your loved ones. Make sure that you're prepared to take care of them after your passing with a Will.
Are you still unconvinced? Read on to find out why you need a Last Will and Testament.
What Is a Last Will and Testament?
We've all heard of a Will, but few people know what it looks like or does when you get down to the nitty-gritty of it. The simple definition is that a Last Will and Testament is a binding, legal document detailing your intentions for your assets, money, and objects of sentimental value after your death. Wills are also important for delegating the care of your children after your passing.
But a Last Will and Testament is not simply for distributing things among family and friends. It also ensures protection for your loved ones against debts and confirms that they will have the assets that they will need upon your passing. It protects them from anyone with nefarious intentions from preventing them from receiving your benefits.
Who Should Have a Will?
Most people think of Wills as something that only the elderly or terminally ill need. After all, most people don't die young unexpectedly and most Wills get read after the death of an elderly person.
But you'll be surprised to learn that anyone over the age of 18 should prepare their Will. Before 18, any assets that you may have will automatically go to your parents as you are not yet an independent, legal adult. But after 18, things become trickier.
If you have any assets, savings, investments, property, or dependents, you should make sure that they are protected in a Will in the case of your unfortunate and unexpected passing. Make sure that everything is accounted for and going to the person who you would like to benefit after your passing. In the case that you don't have a will, they will go to whoever your closest living family member is.
Types of Wills
Did you know that there are different types of Wills?
There isn't a one-size-fits-all option when it comes to Will making. While everyone over 18 with assets should have a Will, the type you have will largely depend on the size of your estate as well as some other factors. Let's look at some of the common types of Wills so that you can see why there's a perfect Will type for your needs.
A simple will is just what it sounds like. It's the simplest form of a Will and does not include any stipulations, addendums, or clauses. However, you can still include a lot of information and appointments.
A Simple Will can appoint an executor (the person who makes sure that the Will is correctly followed and your final wishes are upheld) and guardians for children and dependents.
While these Wills are simpler, you should still go over the planning with an attorney who can show you a simple last will and testament sample to give you an idea of what you should include. They'll also go over it with you after it's done to make sure everything is legal and binding.
Testamentary Trust Wills
A Testamentary Trust helps to distribute your assets after your death. This Will type is often used in cases where beneficiaries need to be taken care of for a long time after your passing. You should use a Testamentary Trust if you have dependents with disabilities or young children.
Unlike some other Trusts, Testamentary Trusts don't go into effect until after your death.
A Joint Will is a single document that covers the assets of two individuals. This Will is most commonly used by married couples who wish for their spouse to be the primary beneficiary after their passing.
However, after the death of the second partner, there is typically a secondary beneficiary such as children or other relatives. This Will makes sure that you don't lose anything after the death of your spouse and that the assets you inherited from them are automatically accounted for upon your own passing.
Deathbed Wills and Holographic Wills
These are the kinds of Wills that you should aim to avoid. Unfortunately, people sometimes find themselves in near-death scenarios where they must suddenly prepare a Will because they did not make one ahead of time.
There are multiple problems with Deathbed Wills. First of all, you may not have a total presence of mind in a life or death situation and end up leaving something important out of your Will. You may never have seen a Last Will and Testament sample and have no idea what to include.
It's also worth noting that not every state recognizes these as valid Wills because of questions of mental soundness at the time of their creation. That may be the strongest reason of all to make sure that your Will is prepared ahead of life-threatening situations.
How to Make A Will
In order to make a legal Last Will and Testament, you'll need to hire an attorney. They will go through everything with you to make sure that it's up to legal standards so that you can be sure that your final wishes will be followed by your loved ones.
Make sure to use some kind of will supplies such as a cover or envelope to be sure that your Will is easy to find, professionally presented, and undeniable.
You can also use a Last Will and Testament form to ensure that you hit every category that should be covered. You don't want to leave your family with any questions after your death.
Do I Need A Last Will and Testament?
Don't wait until it's too late. If you have assets that you want to be protected and distributed properly in the case of your death, you need to prepare a Last Will and Testament.
Get started with our full assortment of will supplies!