Wills are one of those things that people just don’t like to talk about. The thought of what happens after you die is uncomfortable, and therefore we might not fully take the time to understand or think about what a will really means. We’re here to shed some light on some of the top misconceptions that keep people from having a Last Will and starting one now.
A common explanation for why people don’t have a Will is because they don’t think they have anything of real worth. However, what many may not know is that having a legal Will is not about the “stuff.”
Here are some of the most common excuses we hear:
Let’s address some of these common myths about Wills!
Unless everything in your house/apartment/parent’s basement is from a Rent A Center, it’s highly unlikely that you really don’t own anything.
The reality is, it’s not all about the massive estates and inheritances. It’s about your favorite couch, the complete set of Harry Potter DVDs and wand, or your favorite watch your dad gave you when you graduated college. Most people have more than they think. Consider some of these common situations:
So yes, you have stuff! It might not be incredibly high-value, but it’s high-value to someone.
Kids are just one element of a Will. If you are established and you and your spouse don’t have any children, then the Will is going to simply lay out the things you want to pass to your spouse first and then to whoever else you choose.
But it’s deeper than that. As we’ll establish here in a few minutes, your assets are only one part of your Will/estate plan.
Ask yourself this question, if something were to happen to you, who would you want to take care of your children? Your parents, your in-laws, one of your siblings? If you don’t establish a guardian in a Last Will, your state will choose who has guardianship over your children in a process called Interstate. If you have not already laid out your intentions in your will, your children will be subject to the state's plan.
If you don’t do this for any other reason, do it for them. At this point, it’s not about the things, it’s about what is best for your children and making sure your wishes are carried out.
The Advance Directive/Living Will addresses exactly what you want to be done with your body and life in the event you can’t speak for yourself. Do you want to be on life support? Do you want artificial tube feeding? Do you want your doctor to pull the plug and die peacefully after X amount of day if you’re in a coma? Those are decisions you need to talk to your loved ones and doctor about. But even if you have the conversation, if you haven’t legally named someone to make that call for you in your Will, your family is going to have to go to a court and pay thousands of dollars to have a judge name a guardian for you. These are the documents that speak FOR you and determine what happens next.
That’s where the Powers of Attorney comes into play. This is the document that allows the said person to speak on behalf of you and inform your medical providers about your end-of-life decisions. Furthermore, this allows someone you trust to act on your behalf regarding your finances, bank accounts, savings accounts, real estate, etc.
In some cases, you’re right, you don’t own anything. But as we mentioned before, it’s not about the stuff you have. Your Will is your chance to speak, even when you can’t speak for yourself, and these documents allow you to do that.
Whether you’re married or not, more than likely you still have people in your life you care about— your parents, your siblings, your friends, etc. What legacy do you want to leave behind for your loved ones? What do your loved ones need to know when they’re put in this situation? Your Will is your chance to let the people you love–and who have your back–speak on your behalf and let your voice be heard.
In reality, accidents happen. Death happens whether you’re prepared or not; so wouldn’t you like to know that your friends and family aren’t left in a scramble in the case you unfortunately and unexpectedly pass? They’re already grieving, and they shouldn’t be burdened with the complications of not having a Will. This is one of the last things you can do to leave a legacy behind for your loved ones.
As can be seen, a Will is not about your stuff, nor is it about needing stuff for it to be worth having a Will. Your Will is so much more, it’s about leaving behind your legacy, having your voice be heard, and being there for your loved ones even after you’re gone.
Here at Epic Will, we know how important these decisions can be, which is why we’ve created a platform that makes it quick and easy for you to create a Will that gives you, and your family, peace of mind that everything is taken care of for the future. It’s really not that hard of a decision.
If you do need help making decisions or some thought-provoking question starters, download our Will Prep Guide for a list of everything you need to get started creating your Will. Always remember, for questions as it pertains to documents and what YOU should do, always consult with an attorney. Nothing said here is a substitute for legal advice as it relates to you!
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