So going along with my post on Life Insurance, we all know we’re going to die. Just like everyone needs Life Insurance, everyone needs a Will. However, 6 out of 10 people do not have a will. Until a few months ago, Nathan and I were in that boat. Even though we both knew we needed one (even though I told others to do it) we just had not gotten around to doing it. Even worse, we had even purchased one online and had it completed, but just not signed. But with more time during Covid, we decided it was time to check this off our list.
4 Reasons to Create (or finish) Your Will:
#1: A Will Gives You Control. A Will gives you and your family a plan to deal with the unexpected. It allows you to choose exactly what happens to your possessions, protecting your loved ones. It’s a good defense because it takes away any fights and a good offense because you have a game plan. You can pick the executor (person who carried out your wishes) and beneficiaries (people who get your stuff).
#2: A Will Lets You Give Good Gifts. Choosing who gets what is one of the most important parts of the will. If you have money, it allows you to give specific amounts to specific people or groups. If you have personal items that you want to go to specific people, a will sets that up. It also allows you to make sure that those who shouldn’t receive money or possessions, don’t.
#3: Keeps Your Family Out of Probate Court. Probate is what happens when you die without a will, it means that the courts will settle your stuff for you. The court will not know how you wanted your estate handled and this could mean fighting within your family and court battles before everything is settled.
#4: A Will Protects Your Children. Parents who die without a will have no control over where their children end up. A will is the only way to leave a plan for your children’s care. Make sure you speak with the potential guardians ahead of time though. We are wanting to stop surprises, not cause new ones!
In California, you can write your own Will and either have it notarized or you just need 2 witnesses to sign that are not listed in the Will. Make sure you have a few copies and update it if you move or have more kids!