If you have been delaying writing a will, it is better not to delay it further. Writing a will is an important task, and it is best you do it while you are of sound mind and are physically fit. Your will dictates how your estate gets divided between your beneficiaries. If you are unable to draft one, the state will do the job, so you won’t have a say in the matter of “who gets what?” Alternatively, if you get the time later, you may not be healthy enough to do it right. You need to consider every possibility since no one knows what the future may have in store for them. Writing a will is undoubtedly important. However, there are very few who take out the time to do so. If you are among those who haven’t yet thought about writing a will, the following reasons should convince you to get it done ASAP.
1. The decision is in your hands
As the owner of your estate, you would want to be the one to decide who gets what. You may want to give away some to charity or some relatives. You may have planned to give a specific part of your property to one of your children. If you never get the time to draft a will, the court will distribute your valuables and property. What happens to your estate would not be in your hands.
With a will, you also get the freedom to allocate resources to charity organisations. If the court has to decide, all your estate may get distributed only between your beneficiaries. When drafting your will, you could make gifts and hefty donations, helping those who may need your money the most. For instance, you can donate to American Humane in your estate plan if you have a soft spot for animals and play your part in saving vulnerable animals.
2. The fate of your minor children does not rest on the court’s verdict
As a parent, you must undoubtedly be concerned about the future of your children. After one’s demise, the court resolves child custody matters unless there is a will to solve these issues. If you are uncertain about leaving your minor children in the custody of another legal guardian (like your nearest relative), writing down a will gives you a say in the matter. As a parent, you can make a better decision about your child’s custody than the court. You can secure your children’s future if you write a will timely and name a guardian for your minor children in your will.
3. You can leave your pets in good care
As distressing as it may be, thinking of death and planning ahead can save your loved ones a lot of trouble. If you are a pet owner, you must love your pet dearly. It hurts to think about what would happen if your pet outlives you, right? There is a solution to that, and all it takes is paper and a pen. You can name a caregiver for your pet in your will who can take care of your pet after you pass away. Without clear instructions in your will about such issues, your beloved pet may most likely end up in an animal shelter.
4. Your family can escape an unnecessarily long probate process
When a family member passes away, there is already a lot on one’s plate. Having to deal with a lengthy probate process can be quite an ordeal. If there is no will, a lengthy probate process is inevitable. During this time, the court reviews the asset division and approves of it. If there is no will, the court also has to do the asset allocation, which may be extremely time-consuming. Without a will to guide the court in distributing assets, your loved ones will probably face the trouble of appearing in court multiple times.
5. You get to plan your funeral processions
Just thinking about your funeral certainly sounds distressing. However, you may have specific wishes about your burial arrangement. There may be a place of sentimental value that you want as your final abode. You may have a funeral executer in mind, or you might have a place in mind where you want your funeral service. These last ceremonies are of great sentimental attachment, whether or not related to religious beliefs. A will lets you plan it all out and relieve your family of this added burden when they are already grieving.
6. You can prevent family disputes
Conflicts can arise if your family ties are precarious and your estate is not clearly divided between the beneficiaries. If you do not allocate your property and assets yourself, your children might not be willing to accept the state’s asset division. If you keep delaying writing a will until it is too late, the state will have to intervene. On the other hand, you can name beneficiaries for specific properties if you draft a will. Your word will be the final verdict, and there can be no dispute on it. Therefore, you can avoid family disputes with the foresight of writing a will.
7. You get to name an executor
An executor is a person who executes your decisions and winds up your assets according to your wishes. A trustworthy executor can make a huge difference, and if not for a will, the executor will be court-assigned. The executor pays off leftover bills, cancels credit cards, and winds up other such businesses. A reliable executor can save your family a lot of unnecessary hassle. In a will, you get to name an executor as well.
8. It is better to be safe than sorry
Death is unexpected, and you may not be in good health when you finally decide to write your will. Putting it off is not a wise decision as you never know when your health may deteriorate. If you wait long enough, you may not be in a stable mental or physical state to draft your will. Therefore, it is best to take this step while you are still young and healthy.
You may not want to think about your death right now (no one does), but delaying this crucial matter can create many unnecessary complications. The document also isn’t rigid as long as you are alive, so you can decide to make changes to your will whenever the circumstances change. If you delay, you may never get the opportunity. It is clear that you need to write a will for the various reasons listed above, so why not do it sooner rather than later?