March 29, 20215 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Delay Creating Your Will
A hard conversation has to be had right now. When you’re young, death tends to be the last thing on your mind. But to protect your family and assets, you must prepare for the unforeseen. So, let’s just dive right into it: You need a will.
A will is a legal document that explains what should happen to your assets and your dependents if something happens to you. It’s not only for people near retirement age, but it’s also needed just as much when you’re young. Here’s why you should get a will now if you’re in your 20’s, 30’s, or 40’s.
To Appoint a Guardian for Your Children
If you’re a parent, there’s nothing in life more precious than your children. It’s hard to think about, but if you have young kids, who’ll care for them in your absence? The most important reason you need a will is to name a guardian for your children. You should spend some time choosing the best person to take on this responsibility.
After choosing someone, discuss your plans with them to make sure they are willing to take over the guardianship of your children. If you work, your children should receive survivor benefits from Social Security after your death, but these funds are usually not enough to cover all of their needs. To ensure their appointed guardian can take care of them, you can name the guardian as the beneficiary of some of your assets or life insurance. A lawyer can help you sort out those details when you set up a will.
To Appoint an Executor
You may also use your will to name an executor. Without a will, the courts typically appoint an executor for you. Usually, that is your next of kin (e.g., spouse, adult child, parent). However, you may want to choose a different family member or choose a lawyer or another professional to play this role.
To Express Your Final Wishes
It’s true that a will primarily makes it known what should happen to your possessions and dependents when you pass on. But you can also share your wishes for your funeral arrangements. Please note, your family is only legally bound to perform these wishes if you leave enough money to cover the costs.
If there are enough funds left to fulfill your last wishes, your will can act as a roadmap to your family. Funerals are very personal, so you can talk to your loved ones to see what kind of funeral they want to see as well.
To Give Away Your Assets
A will also allow you to outline who inherits your property. You can name certain people, and you can create a variety of contingencies. By noting your wishes in advance, you help to make sure your family has little to no arguments about your estate after you’re gone.
Speed Up Probate
After someone passes away, their estate usually goes through probate. In most states, household goods and vehicles pass directly to the next of kin, but if you own any assets beyond that (homes, retirement accounts, investments, businesses, etc.), they’re going through probate. Creditors can make claims to your assets during the probate process; then, the rest is distributed to your heirs.
Probate can take a few months or up to a few years. But when you set up a will, you help shorten this process. This ensures that your heirs get the funds they need faster and with less hassle.
We’re Here to Help!
If you have questions about setting up a will or would like to talk about different accounts to reach your financial goals, stop by any branch, or give us a call at 1-800-226-6673.
Each individual’s financial situation is unique, and readers are encouraged to contact PEFCU when seeking financial advice on the products and services discussed. This article is for educational purposes only; It does not constitute legal advice. If such advice or a legal opinion is required, please consult with competent local counsel.