Do You Need a Will? (Part 2)
Read Part 1 of Dusty's article here.
Will Equals Peace of Mind
Having a last will and testament will give you peace of mind. It will also give peace of mind and clarity to the executor of your estate and your loved ones. Having your wishes written down, brings a certain acceptance that could otherwise lead to challenges or hard feelings. If my former in-laws had stated that their daughter was to inherit the clock, the stepson would simply have accepted that.
Taking the time to create your will is an act of love that will be remembered long after you are gone.
Writing a will can be as simple as writing a letter. However, if your estate is high value or complex, you may want to have an attorney draw up your will. Clearly communicate what is important to you. You may also want to share your intentions with your loved ones or ask them for input. You might be surprised to learn that what your granddaughter would cherish more than anything is your birthstone ring.
Charitable Giving Made Easy
Another benefit of having a will is naming your favorite charity. You can specify a charity to receive a certain amount of money or a percent of your estate. Another way to give without actually taking anything from your estate is to request donations be made to your favorite charity “in lieu of flowers.” My nonprofit organization, LiveLung, has been the beneficiary of this generous way for people to show their support for the deceased.
Your Will Does Not Do Everything
Some things a will cannot do. It is important to know that, for example, your will does not determine the beneficiary of your insurance policy. Insurance policy beneficiaries are listed with the insurance company. My husband and I have been together more than 20 years. We drew up our wills years ago. However, my husband forgot to update his insurance beneficiary until years later. Imagine my disappointment—and his ex-wife’s delight—if she had remained his beneficiary!
Also, consider your bank accounts. Should you add another person so that it is a shared account rather than have the bank accounts be frozen until they go through probate? What about your vehicles? Does your spouse drive it? Should you add her/him to the title?
What About a Trust?
Do you have minor children or dependents with special needs? Is your estate high value? You may want to consider setting up a living trust. (We will cover the topic of “Trusts” in a future article.)
Here are a few links with information to help you create your will:
- “Creating a Will”, USA.gov
- “10 Steps to Writing a Will”, Geoff Williams, U.S. News and World Reports
- “Should You Have a Will?” Selena Maranjian, The Motley Fool
- “How to Write My Own Will”, Barbara Diggs, LegalZoom
- “4 Things You Should Know Before You Make Your Own Will”, Megan Leonhardt, Time
- “How to Write Your Own Last Will and Testament”, WikiHow
Have you experienced insurance obstacles in your lung cancer journey?