According to a recent survey by Gallup, only 44% of Americans have wills. This number also tracks closely to age and socioeconomic status—older and wealthier people are more likely to have wills.
So why should you have a will? What do wealthier and older people know that makes them much more likely to have a will? Why should you have a will, even if you’re not either wealthy or older?
Making Sure Your Children are Taken Care Of
Only 14% of those under 30 have a will, but many people have children at that age. While thinking about what will happen to your children after you pass away is extremely difficult, you want to make sure that the person that takes care of your children is someone you trust deeply. You also want to make sure that this person is able to take care of your kids for their entire childhoods. For example, while you or your spouse’s parents may gain custody of the children, their age may make them unsuitable guardians in the long-term.
Making Sure You’re Taken Care Of
Even if you don’t have a huge number of assets, your health and wellbeing towards the end of your life are still important. You should discuss with your loved ones your wishes for end-of-life care, including life support and extreme measures. While this isn’t necessarily a will, it is part of end-of-life planning that goes along with it. For more on how to have these conversations with your family, check out our article “Having a Final Wishes Conversation.”
Passing Along Heirlooms and Keepsakes
Not everything is about your cold, hard assets. Your will is also an opportunity to pass along messages to your family and loved, ones, to pass along important family treasures, and to make people feel cared for. Your family will miss you, and being able to leave behind kind words is an asset beyond measure.
For more reasons you should have a will, check out our article “Why Being Without a Will is Good For the Government and Bad For You.”