With August being Make-A-Will month, we thought there wasn’t a better time to continue sharing why it is so important for you to have a fully executed Last Will and Testament (“Will”). We’re breaking down in 7 reasons (even though there are certainly more) why today should be the day you get a Will drafted, if you haven’t already.
1. Executing a Will opens the door to important conversation among family members
We’ve often heard that people feel that they don’t need a Will, simply because they feel that their family members already know what to do when they die. Unfortunately, we’ve seen that that isn’t always the case.
Creating your Will takes the burden off of your family members, allowing them to know your exact wishes (and not challenge them), instead of having to guess what you wanted.
2. Executing a Will puts you completely in charge of your Estate
When it comes to managing your Estate, we feel comfortable in saying that not all family members are created equal. In other words, not all of your family members may be capable of, or up to the task of, managing your Estate after you pass away. When you execute a Will, you alone get to choose who will be responsible after your death.
It is also important to note that the person you choose as your Personal Representative, does not need to be set in stone. As things change over the course of your life, the person you may want to hold that role can also change.
3. Executing a Will prevents important relationships from being recognized by the courts
If you die “intestate” or without a Will, the courts will dictate how your Estate and assets will be distributed, sometimes passing over certain family members that you would have wanted to be recognized (think of step children, among others).
4. Executing a Will provides protection for your minor children or dependents
It’s not a happy or pleasant thought, but it’s a necessary one. Who will care for your minor children or dependents, should both you and your partner/spouse pass away? When you execute a Will, you have the ability to spell out EXACTLY who would like to look after your children, in the event that both you and your partner are unable to.
Again, should you die “intestate,” the courts will decide who will care and make decisions for them.
Who you choose as Guardian is also not set in stone, and can be changed over the course of your life.
5. Executing a Will provides protection for your pets, too
Pets are family members too, right? Similarly to caring your minor children or dependents, creating a Will also allows you to spell out who will care for your pets. Put into writing not only who will be responsible for your pets after you pass, but you can also allocate funds for any care that your pets may require.
6. Executing a Will allows for gift giving
If you wish to bestow a gift or donation to any organizations or charities after you pass away, that is something that should be spelled out in your Will. You also have the ability to leave a percentage of your Estate.
7. Executing a Will gives you peace of mind
This one is absolutely self-explanatory. When it comes to your legacy and what you are leaving behind, don’t wait until it’s too late. In our humble opinion, one of the greatest gifts you can give to your family, is allowing them to properly grieve losing you, without having to worry about being unsure of your wishes.
As we like to say–life is complicated enough, but your death doesn’t have to be.
If you have questions about life planning in Florida, attorney Mark F. Moss can help you understand what options you have available. To arrange a confidential consultation over the phone or in person in Jacksonville, please call 904-329-7242 or inquire online today.
*Disclaimer: Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not legal advice. This is for informational purposes only. It is best to speak with an attorney about your specific situation, questions, assets, concerns, and needs.