Monday, 17 November 2014

Wait, Why Don't You Have a Will?

Are you prepared?
Many people put off important grown up things like getting a will.

If you know that you need a will, but haven't got around to getting one done, I can relate. I'm married, own some big things, like a house, have a pet, and a kid. Until this week, I didn't have a will.

Dying without a will can create a lot of unneeded stress for loved ones after you pass. It can also mean the courts decide who gets your stuff, or looks after your children. Even though they try to make the best choices, they're not you and they can't know what you want without a will.


Sometimes we know how important it is to do something, but we still don't do it.

What's Your Excuse for Not Having a Legal Will?



You're Unsure Which Lawyer to Use and How Much It Costs


For most of us, dealing with lawyers isn't part of our everyday routine. It can be intimidating to book an appointment to draw up a will if you don't even know which type of lawyer to call.  Plus, it can be scary when you don't know how much the meeting will end up costing you.

We had a real estate lawyer, but we weren't sure if she would do our wills too. If she did do them, we weren't sure what she'd charge. It was hard to budget for an amount that could be substantial. So we didn't. As expected, if it's not in our budget, we probably won't get it.

Then this post on The Best Online Will Creator came up on my Twitter feed (ya, I'm on Twitter now! You can follow me here). I assumed these were all American options, so I started doing my own research.

A quick search for legal wills brings up lots of results and many of them are free. Turns out that You don't even NEED a lawyer to draw up a legal will. I guess those legal will kits you find at the Dollar Store might actually be legit.***

Our situation is pretty straight forward, so I think a cookie cutter solution would work for us.  Obviously you need to do some research and determine if you need legal advice or not.

So for those who don't need a lawyer, there are many free DIY legal will resources out there to choose from.  Most will give you the cost up front and many are free.


You Can't Choose Who To Take Care of Your Children


As parents you want what's best for your children. It's hard to find someone else who would be able to raise your children exactly the same as you.

Even though I don't think we're the best parents sometimes (and when we brush her hair, the Little Miss doesn't think so either) I have trouble thinking of anyone else who could do a better job raising our daughter with the values we want to instill in her.

We need to acknowledge that no one could ever completely, perfectly replace a parent. But, we probably do know many responsible, loving, adults who would do a wonderful job of loving and caring for our children.

I would hate for our daughter to lose her parents then have to wait for the courts to pick her guardian  before she knew where she was going to live and who was going to take care of her.

We owe it to our children to give them some stability if they get left alone.  We can do that by making a choice, any choice.  We can always change our minds later, but any choice is better than no choice.


You're Never Going to Die


Generally, people would do anything to not need to think about their own mortality.

My coping mechanism has been to declare openly and often that I will never die. Surely by the time I get old technological advancements will be able to keep me alive forever. Right?

Even my theory has flaws (really?). It doesn't take away the possibility of me dying today. Or tomorrow.

So, even if you're like me and don't plan on ever dying, I'd still suggest getting a legal will done.


Conclusion


I used a company online that takes you through a questionnaire and creates your legal will with a one week free trial. It reminded me of doing my taxes. I answered the questions without trying to over think anything and in fifteen minutes I was looking at my new will. It still needs to be witnessed, but it's done.

It feels great to know that I've finally taken care of my will.  If I ever do die, I've helped to remove some stress from my loved ones.

If you've been putting off drawing up a legal will, now is the best time to get it done.  Any choices are better than no choices and you can always change them in the future.


What About You?


Why did you decide to get a will?

Why don't you have a will?

How much did your will cost?



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*** This disclaimer deserved many stars.  I'm not a lawyer.  If this post applies to you, then probably neither are you.  Do your own research for your own situation and location.  You may require the assistance of a lawyer or a notary or someone I've never even heard of to create you legal will.  ***