7 Reasons to Write Your Will Right Now

It is easy for me to say that right now is a good time for you to write your will. It is, after all, one of the things that I get paid to do. If my personal welfare is not a compelling factor, there are other reasons to create a will that are certain to put it at the top of your to-do list.

  1. Control Your Property: Writing your will provides an opportunity to arrange for the distribution of your assets. These include personal items as well as larger assets like property, businesses and other valuable belongings. If you don’t do it, the courts will. In the absence of a will there are strictly defined procedures for the handling and management of your estate that might not accord with your preferences.
  2. Prevent Family Disputes: Creating a will provides an opportunity for you to have the last word. If you think that family disputes won’t arise if you aren’t specific, you’re taking a big gamble. A few moments on your part could prevent a lifetime of disagreements.
  3. Organize the Process of Distribution: By appointing an executor of your estate, you organize the distribution of your estate. You appoint a trusted representative to handle all of your affairs. 
  4. Name Parental Guardians: This is perhaps the most important motivation for many people to create their wills. It enables parents to select who will be responsible for the welfare of their children in the event of their untimely demise. 
  5. Preserve Digital Assets: In an age when many of our most important assets, including documents and photographs, are stored online, it’s important to establish who has access to and control of them. There may, in addition, be cases where you don’t want access to your digital assets to be generally available. The process of creating this record will also force you to place all of those accounts and passwords in one place. 
  6. Maximize Tax Efficiencies: The process of creating a will also presents an opportunity for you to review all of your estate planning. The estate planning process is complex, but it does present many opportunities to protect your assets and to decrease your exposure to estate and other taxes. Your estate planning process may also present opportunities to save on taxes and to benefit during your own lifetime. 
  7. Create Power of Attorney and Living Will: There are other documents that are often created along with a will. These include power of attorney which enables a family member or trusted friend to exercise control over your affairs in the event of your incapacitation. A living will enables a family member or trusted friend to direct your medical care in the event that you’re not able to do so. 

A  will and related documents enable you to retain control over your affairs beyond your lifetime. These are issues that may be difficult or uncomfortable to contemplate. They may, however, have the effect of saving your family and friends from confronting an even more difficult situation. Like death and taxes, one thing that you can be sure of – if you don’t take care of these issues, the government will, and it’s quite possible that they may not be settled according to your wishes.

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