Few people these days seriously consider the major benefits of estate planning, such as writing a will. While it might seem too early for you to write a will, it’s never too late to start. That’s because you never know when you might experience a serious health issue that could cause early death. The reality is that this kind of possibility should be faced and prepared for. But not enough people are doing so, leaving their families in very tough situations when they pass.
For example, according to Legal Zoom, just 18% of all Americans over age 55 have some will, power of attorney, or advance healthcare directive to handle their needs. This situation is a serious problem that proper planning can avoid. Here are a few reasons why you should seriously consider writing a will as soon as possible. Doing so can minimize your risk of experiencing any financial issues after they lose you.
1. Ensures Your Estate Is Properly Distributed
What would happen to your money if you were to die while reading this sentence? Would the state claim it? Do you have any steps to ensure it goes where it should? Will your family get the money that you possess? These questions are hard to answer without a will. A will can provide many benefits, including helping you to:
- Create a Distribution Plan: A well-written will produces a money distribution plan that is smooth, easy to understand, and effective. Work with your estate planning expert to get great results here.
- Produce a Binding Agreement: A will is a legal contract that the executor cannot ignore. As a result, writing a will ensures that your estate execution goes according to your plan.
- Satisfy Your Needs: Writing a will helps you produce a reasonable finance plan that makes sense for your needs and those of your family estate needs. In this document, your properties and assets are passed on to the inheritors of your choice, whether they be children, friends, or relatives.
When writing a will, work with your family to let them know what to expect. There’s no reason a will has to be a secret; you can share it with them to ensure they are well informed about the assets they will receive upon your passing. Providing for your loved ones after you pass can be considerate and a means of keeping your wealth within the family.
2. Streamlines Your Planning
The toughest part about planning your retirement is knowing what will happen with your money if you pass. For example, will your children get your retirement savings? Will your spouse? Take care of this problem by writing a will to streamline your end-of-life planning and minimize confusion. This step can provide a surprising array of benefits, including how it can allow you to:
- Plan Ahead: When you create a will, you plan ahead years in advance and can take better care of your retirement and your family if you do pass away suddenly.
- Prevent Confusion: If you create a will before you retire, you can avoid confusion if you do pass away suddenly and provide your family with help for your funeral.
- Create a Meaningful Strategy: A will can help you create a powerful planning strategy to make your overall experience easier to plan and execute.
Taking this planning seriously long before you reach retirement age is important. For instance, it is a good idea to have a retirement plan in your 30s. If not, write a will to ensure your estate is handled properly if you pass unexpectedly.
3. Keeps Your Funds From Being Reclaimed
Did you know that if you don’t write a will before you pass away, your estate might get distributed by the state? This problem is something that has occurred to many people over the years. Thankfully, estate planning can help you avoid this problem in many different ways, including:
- Creating a Distribution Plan: Your state may step in if you don’t have a fund distribution plan and take over handling things like selling your property, vehicles, and belongings.
- Avoiding Heavy Taxes: You can set aside part of your will to pay taxes on your estate, helping your family and loved ones avoid this heavy bill after you pass away.
- Paying Your Debts: Avoid property repossession by paying off your debts and ensuring that your family isn’t stuck in a troubling situation after you pass away.
Writing a will can give you this power and ensure that your finances are handled in a way that makes sense. Just as importantly, it can help your family get the money they deserve without worrying about it getting distributed in ways that may not benefit them.
4. Minimizes Family Fighting
When you pass away, there’s a risk that your family may start fighting about your finances. This problem can impact even the closest families and be perpetuated if it has not already been decided who inherits what. Writing a will can at least minimize these risks in a variety of ways, including:
- Distributing Money Fairly: Creating a will lets you distribute the money fairly among your family members to minimize conflict.
- Producing Explanations: You can explain why people get what they receive in a will to make it simpler to understand and execute and to avoid fights.
- Avoiding Certain Individuals: If there are people in your family that, for whatever reason, you don’t want to leave any funds to, a will grants you the power to only leave assets to those who you feel deserve or could use them.
Creating a well-written will that fairly distributes your finances can minimize family arguing. Of course, there’s always the risk that somebody will be unhappy with your will. That said, taking care of the will now and writing a fair distribution plan can at least decrease these risks. As time passes, you may always adjust or revise your will.
5. Gives You Peace of Mind
Writing a will is a great way to ease your end-of-life fears. As people age into retirement and start seeing their finances grow, they may worry about what will happen after they pass. Writing a will can provide you with the peace of mind that you want and deserve by:
- Planning for a Funeral: You can distribute your will money to help pay for things like your funeral, streamlining this process and allowing your family to grieve without financial stress.
- Paying Medical Bills: If you pass away with many medical bills, your will can provide enough money to pay for them and ensure that your family isn’t in debt.
- Transitioning to a New Life: Your will can give your family enough money to transition after you die, including buying a new home or having a new source of income to pay bills and invest with. Your savings could pay off a relative’s home, send a grandchild to college, or pay for someone’s medical bills.
That peace of mind is great to have as you get older. For example, you may worry more and more about your family as you age past retirement and into your 70s. Using estate planning professionals and writing a will minimizes this risk and keeps your family safe.
As you can see, estate planning is an important process, and writing a will is a good way to start. Taking this situation seriously is critical for your needs and your family. When you write a will, you can ensure your family doesn’t end up in a challenging situation. You can also rest easy knowing that professionals have handled your needs and are distributing your estate correctly.