“Life is short.” That’s something adults often hear, because the older you get, the faster time passes by. We don’t like to think about our own mortality, because it reminds us that everything eventually comes to an end. And even though it may seem almost morbid for some, planning for our eventual death is an absolute necessity, especially if you’ve got family to think about, large sums of money / non-fluid income, or other investments.
All things considered, the importance of creating a will – especially as you reach middle or retirement age – cannot be understated. Not only will your legal affairs be protected, but a will ensure your family and loved ones are protected in the case of your death. If you’re still debating the importance of creating a will or living trust, here are a few reasons why you should do so.
- Who gets what? We’ve all heard the horror stories of family members fighting over the estate of a deceased loved one, and they’re never fun. The most basic role of creating a will or living trust is to determine who gets what after you’ve passed – estates, inheritances, other investments, the list goes on. To save your survivors the stress of figuring that out on their own, make sure to clearly outline the benefactors in your will so the matter can be settled ahead of time.
- Posthumous gifts and donations. It’s quite common for many to keep certain charitable causes or nonprofits outlined in their will if they are looking to make donations after they pass. If you prefer to wait to make donations until the event of your death, write any directions for those donations into your will along with their organizations so those handling your estate know how to handle it.
- The care of your children. This is especially important for people with children under the age of 18. Securing their options in your will, such as legal guardianship and the handling of any inheritances, will leave your survivors out of having to make potentially difficult decisions about what will happen next.
- Consider estate taxes. No matter what, federal and state taxes will be taken out of your fortune, and it’s important to keep that in mind. However, it’s possible to minimize the amount of taxes that will be taken out of your estate by directing where certain funds will go, whether it’s into trust accounts or amounts you choose to bequeath to certain individuals.