Death is an idea we would rather avoid. It’s ugly and uncomfortable. However, it is a reality, and one we must face sooner rather than later. That reality is often embodied in a will. Writing a will almost feels like a seal of approval. You sign the documents and suddenly you’ve signed your own death sentence. As such we avoid it, or put it off as long as possible. After all, we’ve got time, why deal with it now?
Unfortunately, for many, time is running short. While we would rather avoid the topic, many people need to consider what their legacy will look like, and how they would like to enter their final years. It’s not a horrible thing to consider how you would like your valuables and estate to be divided, but a will contains far more than just a distribution of wealth. You need to consider pets, family, and yourself. A will isn’t just a document, it’s a legacy. It’s the final tangible piece of your life left behind, and as such we should pay a little more attention to it.
Why Does it Matter?
For those of you with pets, what will happen to them after your death? It may not seem like a pressing concern now, but if something were to happen to you, they may be sent to a shelter or a family that wouldn’t care about them nearly as much as you. They deserve to be taken care of by a loving family after you’re gone.
For those with children, do you want them to be entirely responsible for you? Is it considerate to place a burden on them to decide how to best care for you, whether that be in death or advanced age? Deciding how you want to be taken care of in your age is a crucial part of your will, and one your children will thank you for.
What about promises for items or other financial benefits to others? Those promises mean little if they aren’t fulfilled.
I Can Wait, Right?
Technically, yes, but should you? Old age is no guarantee, and neither is the safety, security, and the well-being of your possessions and loved ones. Think of a will like insurance. You pay for health insurance, car insurance, pet insurance, etc, you name it and there’s an insurance policy for it. A will is insurance for your estate, pets, and future care all rolled into one. Knowing this, is waiting such a good idea? You want your family to be taken care of, and your family wants to take care of you. A will provides a clear course of action, whatever may befall you.
Where Do I Start?
Start by consulting a lawyer. They will guide you along what to write, how to write it, and what you need to consider when writing a will. Remember, this will is your desires, your testament to your family. What it contains is entirely up to you, and others shouldn’t influence this decision. Start by asking yourself, “What do I want my future to look like?” Once you have a rough idea of that future, just start working. Your first draft won’t necessarily be the final one, and you can always go back and change things. On top of that, even after you’ve completed your will, if you want to change something later you have that option.
Being afraid of writing a will isn’t a fault, it’s natural. Facing death is something none of us want to consider, but the reality of our lives means we need to take care of those we care for so they can take care of us. Write your will for those you leave behind. They’ll thank you for it.