A Will (or a Last Will & Testament) — is one of the key mechanisms for ensuring that your wishes are honored after your death and for protecting and providing for those you love and cherish.
If you die intestate, that is, without a Will, the government will step in and take control of your assets, minor children or other dependents, and even pets. Dying without a Will in place can create chaos for loved ones left behind and drain tremendous value from your estate.
Having a Will & Testament in place and keeping it updated at every juncture of significant change in your life, will:
- Help you ensure that your children are raised how and by whom you prefer.
- Allow you to designate with great specificity who will receive what after your death — from assets with great monetary value to those items that simply carry great sentimental value.
- Maximize your assets for your beneficiaries by decreasing probate, court, and legal costs.
- Provide advance instructions for burial, cremation, or other funeral choices so that your loved ones will be lifted from the burden of making decisions during a time of grief.
- Support charitable organizations that matter greatly to you.
Do You Really Need a Will if You’re Fit?
This might seem like a stupid question. But it isn’t. This is mostly because people that are fit, or think they are, might put off making a will until it is too late.
Those that don’t make a will at all are probably not large in number.
However, there is a case for not making a will if you expect to outlive your assets. But this is very rare and it is highly unlikely you could outlive all of your assets.
The longer you live, the more you will acquire. At least conventional thought would follow that reasoning.
With all the talk of social security and medical care going on in the news these days it is hard not to think about your health when you get older.
Of course with a will, it is not only your health you are thinking about but those of your heirs as well.
It is possible you will need every last dime and no money will be left with your will. This is especially true if you will be heavily dependent on annuities of some sort or other that are discontinued after your death.
It makes sense to make a conservative plan in your will anyway. You never know when your fitness might disappear.
Positive thinking is one thing while careful reasoned thought is another.
Most importantly, there will be other things in your will besides just money.
The tangibility of these things at your death will have little or nothing to do with your level of fitness. Your house, cars, family heirlooms, etc. all need to be planned for in some way.
Even if you want to give them to charity, you better plan a will.
Otherwise, your family will lay claim to them. Whatever you decide, don’t fool yourself into thinking you don’t need a will just because you are fit.
It is your decision not to have one but you need to come up with a better excuse.
Attention! We are not attorneys and we are not lawyers. We cannot represent customers, select legal forms, or give advice on rights or laws. The article provided is for information ONLY and is NOT a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.