* This post is part of our May Top 5. Check out the rest of the Top 5 here. *
This isn’t a post about having self discipline kind of will power. This is a topic that isn’t much fun to talk about, but it’s so important! Everyone who has any dependents of any type needs to have a will!
Unless you have no one dependent on you, you need a will.
Especially if you have children.
Did you know that if both parents die and the extended family disagrees on who gets the kids, your children will be put into foster care until a judge can decide who will get your children. Now, I’m not saying that all foster care is bad. What I am saying is that there are bad foster care providers out there. And at a time when your kids are grieving the loss of their parents, would you want them to be taken away from their family and put in foster care with strangers? Would you want the decision of who should raise your kids to be put in the hands of a judge who has never met you or your children?
I know that I don’t want that. If something were to happen to Dan and me, I want things set up to take care of our kids. I don’t want there to be disagreements and rifts in our family due to our choice. I would rather have the people in our family angry at Dan and I for our choice, not angry at each other. I hope that if something were to happen to us, our family and friends would realize that when we made this decision, we put a lot of thought and even more prayer into it, and that we chose to place our children into the hands of people we trust to raise them how we would; people who won’t be inconvenienced by the physical and financial burden of raising our kids; people that we know will make sure they continue to have relationships with all of their family.
Every one of us parents has a different reasons for how and who we would choose to raise our kids. But the most important point is that it is our choice to make, not the choice of a judge. But unless you have a will, you won’t have a chance to make that choice.
So you don’t have kids?
Imagine for a moment that your spouse were to die tomorrow. In your grief, you would be forced to choose where to have the funeral, where to have them buried- or would you want to cremate them? You’d need to pick out songs for the funeral, what type of casket to buy, what to put on the headstone. And all of this is just the details you’d have to deal with within the week following their death.
Personally, I don’t want to leave this burden on Dan. If something were to happen to me, I want him to know what I desire. That way, the funeral would reflect my desires; but more importantly, at a time when he was going through grief, this would be one way that I could lighten his burdens just a little bit.
How well do you both know your finances?
Finances are another reason to have a will in place. Things will still be difficult, but if a will is in place, there is proof of who you wanted your assets to pass to. Oftentimes, when a will isn’t in place, much of the inheritance can end up passing to the government. That basically means that by choosing not to make a will, you may be choosing to pay some extra taxes. Additionally, if you have any separate accounts, there may be difficulty getting access to those accounts (which is why I would advocate sharing all of your accounts, but that’s a whole other topic!).
But I can’t afford it!
That’s just not true. While you may not be able to pay a lawyer to draw up a will for you, even just throwing something together yourself (free) is better than nothing. However, Dan and I went with Dave Ramsey’s recommendation of U.S. Legal Forms. It only cost Dan and I a total of $44 to do our will as well as our Living Will and Power of Attorney. Then we took it to our credit union and had a Notary Public notarize it for us.
Get a will today! For your sake, for your spouse’s sake, and definitely for your children’s’ sake!
**I’m not getting any kind of payment for endorsing U.S. Legal Forms, I just think it’s so important to have a will, and I know that money is tight for a lot of people right now.
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