4 Reasons to Write a Will

June 30, 2022 at 4:38 pm Leave a comment

As I wrap up June and the different topics that I’ve covered this month to celebrate men’s health education, the last topic of interest is wills (living and traditional) and trusts. Generations of my family did not make their wishes known by preparing a will and we had issues trying to provide proper burial arrangements, as well as share their remains with the appropriate family member. As you can imagine, Grandma Taylor’s poker table became a point of contention when two grieving sisters decided they both wanted it.

Another important document, is a living will. A living will is an advanced directive that directs the decision maker about what an individual wants and does not want, if they are unable to make their wishes clear.

Here are 4 reasons to leave a will:

  1. You can be clear about who gets your assets. …
  2. You can keep your assets out of the hands of people you don’t want to have them (like an estranged relative).
  3. You can identify who should care for your children. …
  4. Your heirs will have a faster and easier time getting access to your assets.

Be Clear About Who Gets Your Assets – This is a pretty big deal. Simply put, you get to decide who gets your favorite class ring, diamond necklace, or “the house”. If you die without a will, those wishes may not be carried out. Further, your heirs may end up spending additional time, money, and emotional energy to settle your affairs after you’re gone. Or fighting over what “mom or dad wanted me to have“. While no single document will likely resolve every issue that arises after your death, a last will and testament—can come pretty close. 

Identify Who Should Care for Your Children – A will identifies who will take care of your child if you die before s/he becomes an adult. Without a will, the courts will decide.

Your Heirs Will Have a Faster and Easier Time Getting Access to your Assets – Having a will and executor, lets the courts know how to disburse your assets and to whom they will go. It takes time to get a court date, so if you need to access your loved one’s bank accounts, have yourself added to your loved one’s accounts.

Finally, there were two documents that helped us tremendously when we were taking care of our parents (when they could no longer take care of themselves). Power of Attorney for Financial Reasons, and Power of Attorney for Health Care. Both powers of attorney, give broad authority to the person assigned. A power of attorney for financial decisions names a person to handle financial matters on behalf of another individual.

A power of attorney for health care is similar in some ways to the power of attorney for financial decisions in that it also names a person to make decisions on behalf of someone else.

When executing a power of attorney for health care, an individual answers several questions in an attempt to make clearly exactly what kind of treatment they want, based on their medical condition.

This is the Cliff’s notes version of why creating a will is important. I didn’t address trusts, which offer additional protections. I’d reach out to a trusted attorney to get details, if you go that route. Be prepared if your parents, grandparents or spouse don’t agree that a will is needed. Just know family members “clown” when a matriarch or patriarch dies or gets sick and can’t make decisions.

Don’t let that be your legacy.

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my parent coaching programs that help guide you through Aging Parents, Mother and Daughter drama, Mothers and their Sons challenges, Fathers and Daughters as well as Fathers and their Sons.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru


Entry filed under: Parenting. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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