Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Do I really need a Will?

"Do I really need a Will?" This question and other similar ones seem to stem from two basic misconceptions of a Will.

Misconception #1: "I don't have anything of value to leave to others."
Wills do not exist just for millionaires. Most people, even though they are not millionaires, will have some kind of asset upon their death or "Eternal Graduation Party" as I like to call it. Between the selling of your house, life insurance policies, savings accounts, investments, retirement accounts, bank accounts, etc., most people have more value then they realize. Even if by some chance you are the rare exception and you have nothing but $5.00 in a bank account, I'd rather have my last $5.00 go to my children than any government entity. Beyond finances, Wills (with supporting documents) make other critical decisions. A few examples of these decisions include: final medical care (should you be unable to make them yourself i.e. coma), who continues to raise your minor children, funeral decisions (burial, cremation, service arrangements), designating someone to be in charge of your finances (including giving them permission to close your accounts), etc. If you don't designate someone to be in control, the government will do the job or loved ones can be left to fight over it. We see it all the time. Lastly, it really protects the loved ones you leave behind. Nothing is more stressful than loosing a loved one. There will be plenty of other details for them to take care of upon your critical illness or demise. Your final wishes should already be decided and legally protected.

Misconception #2: "Talking about a Will makes me afraid that something will really happen."
I call this misconception the "If I don't see them, they can't see me" approach. Here is the solid truth; The current death rate hovers somewhere around 100%. Yes, it's an awful statistic, but absolutely true. Everyone will have a "last day;" that is unless someone invents a real "anti- aging" product which I remain hopeful about. There is good news however; Currently, there is no correlation between the day you sign your Will and your "last day". All jokes aside, Wills can be uncomfortable, but it doesn't mean anything is going to happen to you anytime soon. The odds are that you'll be around for many more years. They are designed to be there just- in- case or to be stored away for a long, long time.

Regardless of who you hire as an attorney, I encourage you to get a Will and supporting documents. They are powerful documents that protect your loved ones and secure all your wishes. Should you like to inquire about a Will Packet, please contact my office at 352-243-9991 and schedule your appointment today.