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Will Estate Planning: 8 Reasons To Create A Will

Epic Will Team Jul 13, 2021

Typically when we think of Wills we think of them being for the elderly or wealthy. But it’s so much more than that. If you’re over 18 with breath in your lungs, you need a Will. We’re here to break down the importance of creating a Will NOW and to get you thinking about the different reasons YOU might consider starting a Will today. Not all of what we’re about to detail below may apply to you, but we’re confident at least one of these reasons will. 

Below are 8 reasons why it is so important for you to have a Will Estate Plan.

1. Name who you want to handle your affairs

Think about when a family member who was near to you passed away—suddenly or expected. It left a hole. It hurt. It made you angry. It was devastating. Whatever the adjective is you use to describe it, did you think immediately about who was now going to handle what responsibilities (funeral arrangements, cremation or casket, distribution of assets)? Probably not. Why would you? You’re mourning the passing of a loved one. You shouldn’t be worried about the logistics that inevitably follow.

When it comes to your Will, you need to think about who in your life you trust to handle those particulars. You need to have a conversation with that person and the rest of your family so everyone knows what YOUR wishes are. Then be sure to have it documented in a legal Will so there’s no extra burden on your loved ones with what to do when/if something like this were to ever happen unexpectedly because you’ll have already laid everything out for them.

2. Determine who will take care of your children

If you have children, and either your spouse or the children’s other parent was to die before you, then you will need to identify who YOU want to take over the responsibility of taking care of your children. If you don’t name someone, your state will decide for you. More than likely it could be the next closest living family member. Do you REALLY want that person raising your children?

Who do you think will be the best fit for raising your child in the way that you always wanted? Who has the same familial, spiritual, health care, dietary, lifestyle views as you? Take some time to think about this. Have a conversation with the other parent and make sure you’re both on the same page. It’s your child’s lives that hang in the balance here, so be sure to identify your wishes in your Will now while you still have a say in the matter.

3. Leave behind a legacy

You may be absolutely loaded with a bank account full of cash, or you may be scraping by. The reality is you most likely own “something”. You do not have to have incredibly high-value items in order to have a Will. Your assets can be high-value, or maybe something that’s high-value to you and your loved ones for sentimental reasons. Even after your debts are paid or forgiven after you pass away, there will still be things that you owned that remind your loved ones of you. Whether it’s a favorite sweater, couch, pet, or something else…who do you want that left to?

Don’t skip over this. This will be something that lives on to those loved ones well past you.

4. Someone to speak on your behalf during a medical situation

In the Advance Directive/Living Will, you will name someone to be your health care agent or representative. Keep in mind, having a Will is not just about death. If you were to get in an accident, and are in a coma and can’t speak for yourself, you will need someone you know and trust that can speak for you and let the doctors know what your wishes are. Your Advance Directive and Living Will will also include a HIPAA Release which allows your agent to cut through all of the health care red tapes to access your records and handle any issues that may arise.

So if you’re someone who knows they want to be on life support for 5+ years no matter what, don’t just tell someone, add it to a legally binding Will. This will ensure your voice is being heard and that you have control over what happens next, even if you can’t say so yourself.

5. Someone to handle your bills, money, and bank accounts

Same with a health care agent who handles the medical side/decisions, you can also determine who will be responsible for speaking on your behalf when it comes to your financials. With the Financial Power of Attorney, you’re giving someone you trust with the access they will NEED to be able to handle your financial affairs when you can’t!

The duties of a Financial Power of Attorney include: being able to pay your bills, access your account, pay your taxes, buy and sell investments and real estate, or any other financial transactions that protect your assets.

6. Determine who will take care of your pet(s)

We bet you didn’t think about this, huh? You might not have massive amounts of money in the bank or children who need guardianship, but what about your fur babies? You can identify who will take care of your pets when you can’t, and who will take ownership of your pets if you pass. For many, this is a very similar situation as determining who will take care of your children.

7. Donate to charity

You can designate a portion (or all) of your estate to your favorite charity or nonprofit organization so it leaves a lasting impact long after you are gone. Some people tend to donate to a charity as a contingent backup plan in case their beneficiary passes before they do. Again, you'll want to clarify this in your Will with clear instructions of who'll receive what, and how much.

8. You don’t want your family to struggle

If something were to ever happen to you, it is going to be a hard time for EVERYONE. Unfortunately, it’s well known that a death in the family can cause a lot of family drama. It could be that your dad doesn’t want you to be on life support, but your mom does. Or someone has to start the probate process to begin distributing your assets. Your family is already struggling to come to terms as is, if you don’t have a complete Estate Plan, you’re going to make it THAT much harder on everyone. A Will that specifically notes every last detail about your wishes will make it so much easier for your family to get through this already difficult time.

As you can see, there are a lot of reasons why you should start a Will now. It could be that you want to make sure the right people are gifted with the right items, or that your children have a guardian you trust, or that you’re just trying to make things easier for your family. Either way, you need to start your Will now. It’s peace of mind knowing that what’s important to you, and important to others, is already taken care of. Because who you love and what you’ve earned deserve to be protected.

Get started with Epic Will today

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.