Don’t have a will?
Every person should wisely consider having a will, regardless of his or her financial worth
Talking about one’s last will and testament does not sound very appealing. After all, who really likes to think about death or talk about what will happen after they die? As Christians, however, we have nothing to fear in death. We understand that this world is only a temporary assignment and that we have an eternity with the Lord ahead of us.
A survey released by Gallup poll in 2021 states that slightly less than half of U.S. adults—46%—have a will that describes how they wish their assets to be disbursed after their passing. For those who are 65 years and older, approximately three-quarters have a will. A living will, which includes one’s preferences for medical treatment in the event that he or she is not able to communicate those wishes, are also held more commonly by older than younger people. Some younger adults, however, start a will when they become financially independent; others create one when they get married or have children.
Despite what we see in movies, wills are not intended just for wealthy people who may have greedy family members fighting over belongings. Every person should wisely consider having a will, regardless of his or her financial worth. Its primary purpose is to ensure that your assets are distributed as you desire, in the amount and manner dictated by the will.
If you pass away without a will, you are considered “intestate.” This means the laws of the state will direct how to divide your estate, without your input. If you die without a will and have no heirs, your entire estate could be passed on to the government.
An important part of good stewardship is planning for the future. Creating a will, regardless of your age or financial situation, ensures that you have the ultimate say in what will happen with your assets and how your loved ones will be cared for when you pass.
Another important piece of planning is to have primary and contingent beneficiaries listed on all your life insurance(s), bank accounts, and investment accounts. Taking this important action step will save those accounts from entering into probate and helps loved ones receive assets more quickly. Taking these steps will add to your peace of mind.
Whether you wish to leave everything to your children and spouse or donate it to a charity with a mission or a combination of both, a will gives you this freedom. You can create a legacy that gives your life meaning.
If you do not know how to begin the process of creating a will, ask your financial advisor, or locate a trusted attorney for help. It is a simple, but necessary process.