Every adult needs a legally written will, regardless of age. It is the only way to distribute your assets upon an untimely death. For parents, a will also establishes guardianship for their minor children. Otherwise, a court will determine who gains custody of surviving children.
Making a will has been described as one of the most important acts of a lifetime. It is a statement of who you are – a reflection of your sense of responsibility and what is important to you. Appropriately called a “Last Will and Testament,” it is, in a sense, your testimony — your witness to others of the people and things you value most.
Fail to make a will and the state will take charge. That can mean both delays and unnecessary expenses, and your loved ones may suffer in the process. Your will lets you assist friends, worthwhile causes and others that would be excluded in the distribution formula that the state has for your assets if you fail to plan.
You can prepare your will by:
- Preparing a list of what you own;
- Preparing a list of people you love and causes you cherish;
- Consulting with legal counsel, to make sure it is drawn up properly;
- And keeping it updated as family situations and personal interests change.