You’ve probably heard that you need a will…and you probably don’t have one. You’ve got a lot of company! According to the 2011 EZLaw Will & Estate Planning Survey, carried out by Lexis Nexis, only 44% of Americans have wills. Here are the top five reasons people had for not estate planning…and why they’re wrong.
“I need to focus on the essentials, like buying groceries and paying bills!”
You probably do groceries and pay bills to keep your family well-provided for and healthy. Having a will is another way to do this! Having a will means that you can specify in what ways your family is provided for, and start setting aside money for end-of-life costs. Estate planning is an essential, and can take less time than you think!
“I don’t have assets, I don’t need a will.”
It is likely that you have more assets than you think! Consider your 401k, your life insurance policies, your car and your house, as well as any valuables or family heirlooms. Do you know where those are going after you pass on? Having a will is a great way to make your wishes known. Not only that, but planning towards your end-of-life can mean more than just writing a will.
“It is too complicated to deal with right now.”
You can have a short will written in less than an hour, using our checklist above, or you can have a meeting with a lawyer, where for a small fee, they’ll help you write a will. Remember that in either case, going in prepared is important. While it may seem daunting to think about all your assets and liabilities, you probably have all the information you need at your fingertips… more so if you use Jazmine!
“Meeting with a lawyer is too expensive!”
You actually don’t need a lawyer in order to craft your will! You can do it on your own, following either the checklist above, or instructions found on a website like LegalZoom or NoLo. This means making a will can be totally free! A note that if you are thinking that you need more than just a straightforward will, you should meet with a lawyer. Money spent on protecting your assets and your family is money that pays for itself though!
“My spouse and my children will automatically get all my assets anyways, why should I write a will?”
This is probably true, but depends greatly on the laws in your state. Having a will that clearly lays out the division of your assets can also help to prevent fighting in your family, and will allow you to consult family members about their own wishes.
You have no excuses left! Go write your will!