In today's society, we are all about empowerment, right? We're all about having a voice, being progressive, and placing stakes in the ground for a better future. Well, here's an interesting and actually alarming statistic. Did you know that 78% of today's Millennials are living their lives without a Will? And that 64% of generation X'ers and adults with children also fall into this “Will-less" category? People who are married with children, some even grandchildren, have assets galore and tangible legacies... but nothing to secure it. What happens after death for these people who represent this whopping 78% of America? Who gets the house, the cars, the kids, the money? Who will determine what goes where? Unfortunately, if these items aren’t addressed in a legal Will then the state and law become the decision-maker in these instances. There goes your voice, your control, your wisdom of what’s best for you and your family.
So...have you secured your voice?
*insert minor freak-out here*
Now I know conversations around Wills can be a bit morbid and quite frankly, just depressing, but what if we flipped the script? What if we painted Will's in a new light? Because when you strip it all back, a Will is really just a person's wishes and desires being implemented after his or her death. It's a lasting voice, a legacy, and one's written choices and control over what happens next. So that's why we're here, to empower a generation, who are responsible, proactive, and confident in securing their voice and future, not only for themselves but for the people they love as well!
So grab some coffee and get comfy while we break this down for you real quick. There are four types of people who need a Will, and I'm almost certain you are one of them.
Type one: Married with children
In some cases where both spouses die without a Will, the court determines what will happen to your children and who their guardian will be. This is why it is so important to be proactive and intentional about making these decisions now in the case of an unfortunate and unexpected event. If you don’t specify how you want your children raised or who their guardian will be in your Will, then the court will determine what’s best, even if it’s not what YOU think is best for your children. Who will be the legal guardian of our children when we die? Do we want them to have immediate access to your estate? Do we want their guardian to hold it in trust until they are of age? These are all the types of decisions you and your spouse have to make together, now. Your children’s futures are in your hands, whether you’re there or not, so be prepared and think carefully about what’s best for them...and then secure it in a Will.
Type Two: Married Without Children
In an unfortunate event, you and your spouse die together, you have your joint assets/estate, etc., and two different family units to think about. Who gets what? Where are both of you planned and purchased to be buried? Who speaks for you both? I know this is a lot to take in but it's always better to be safe, heard, and prepared, than sorry. Do you think things can get awkward and tense between the inlaws and two different family units when you’re alive? Imagine when you’re gone and not able to referee. Start making these decisions now so your families can avoid any disagreements and aren’t left with the burden of determining what to do next.
Type Three: Single With Children
This can get tricky! If you pass, your assets are obviously no longer your ex’s assets. Most likely, you and your ex did not pass together, so it's safe to assume the kids are going to stay with her/him. However, you can still leave a legacy with your children. How do you want your assets distributed to them, or to other family members? Your thoughts, wishes, and desires will need to be saved in a secure, and official location so they can be followed and executed. You’ll also need to choose who will speak on your behalf in the event you can’t do so for yourself in your Powers of Attorney and Living Will/Advance Directive.
Type Four: Single Without Kids
Now with this one, we understand this is something that's rarely thought about, especially if you’re in your 20's, but listen, you are not off the hook. Just because you don’t have kids or major assets, doesn’t mean you don’t need to put your Will together. You still need to have a plan for what assets you DO have. Who will take care of your pet(s)? Who do you want your car or house, and ALL of your belongings to go to? Furthermore, if you’re single, it's even more important to name someone to speak for you in your Powers of Attorney and Living Will/Advance Directive. Since you don’t have a spouse, you need to name someone you trust to speak and act on your behalf when you can’t make those decisions yourself.
Maybe you’ve thought of these things already and know what you’re going to do, or maybe you’ve never thought about this stuff and you need to really take time this weekend to make some big decisions. Either way now is the time to start thinking about what’s important to you, and what you can do to ensure you’re loved ones are left in a good place when you’re gone. And, you have to get these documents in a legal Will so all your wishes can be carried out. Just because someone knows you want your children to go to your sister, doesn’t make it legally binding if it’s not in a Will.
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Here at Epic Will, we’ve thought of everything so you don’t have to. We’ve created a quick and simple way to start preparing your Will online in as little as 5 minutes so you can protect your family, leave your legacy, and live with confidence knowing your final wishes are documented and legally binding.