The Importance of Having a Will

july 17, 2020 | estate planning
Happy couple shaking hands with their lawyer

Creating a Will

August is National Make a Will Month. Have you prepared your Will yet? Creating this document is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family before you die. It tells everyone who is to receive your estate, including who you wish to receive certain belongings and who will care for your minor children.  

Listen to LegalShield Chief Legal Officer, Keri Norris, explain the importance of having a Will.

A Majority of Americans Neglect to Create this Essential Document

Unfortunately, the mindset about Wills has led to many of us fail to create one, despite it being arguably one of the most important legacies you will leave behind in life. Many believe that Wills are only for the wealthy. Others feel like the paperwork of creating a Will is much too burdensome and complicated. Well, good news: it doesn’t have to be.

Let’s gain some understanding about Wills: They are not just for wealthy folks that have greedy family members fighting over their belongings when they mysteriously die, despite what you see in movies. Everyone should have a Will, even if you don’t think you have assets. And despite the notion that this is something that only needs to be done later in life, it is important to consider establishing a Will and other estate planning you may need earlier in life – as you never know what can happen unexpectedly.

It can be an intimating project to take on, but it is essential to have a Will if you want to have a say in who your estate assets will pass to when you die. The good news is, as a LegalShield Member, you have access to the tools and resources that can make creating a Will much easier and more streamlined. As a Member, you can consult with a lawyer to plan, draft, and finalize your Will. They are there to help you through each step of the process.

Top 5 Reasons Why You Need a Will

  1. If you die without a Will, you are considered “intestate”. This means the laws of the state will direct how to divide your estate without your input, which could mean everything could end up not passing according to your wishes. If you die without a Will and have no heirs, your estate could even pass to the state. 
  2. Your Will designates who will take care of your minor children. Without a Will, the court must decide who is appropriate to be your children’s guardian without your input. Having a Will makes clear who you trust to care for your minor children as guardians.
  3. Your Will can designate who will care for your beloved pets. Don’t abandon your precious “Fluffy” without making sure she will be taken care of if something ever happens to you. Although no pet owner will be as good as you, a Will allows you to carefully select someone who you trust to tend to her needs.
  4. Allocate donations to specific charities. A Will answers a lot of lingering questions when you die, like “Where will my money go?” You get to decide with a Will. You can select your favored charitable organizations to donate to or pass along all your estate assets to family members. A Will gives you that freedom, but without it, the law of the state will direct who will receive your estate.
  5. Tomorrow is not promised. It’s crucial to always plan for the unknown, even if you’re not reaching the golden years or have health conditions that will certainly put you more at risk. While some younger adults start a Will when they become financially independent from their parents, others create one when they get married or have children.

3 Steps to Create a Will

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  1. Think about your estate and belongings and who you would like to receive them when you die. Who in your family should receive your wedding ring? Who would you trust to care for your children if something were to happen to you? Who is the best person to take care of your beloved dog? These are the questions you need to be asking yourself to write a Will.
  2. Consult with a lawyer. That’s where we can provide access to the help you need. As a LegalShield Member, you get access to estate planning advice and a Will at no additional cost. Simply answer the Will questionnaire with the LegalShield mobile app and upload it directly to your provider law firm. Then, estate planning lawyers can provide consultation and assist you with the process and making sure it is compliant with state laws.
  3.  Your provider lawyer can prepare your Will and provide other documents. LegalShield Members have access to lawyers who can draft Wills, prepare Powers of Attorney, and provide an Advanced Directive for Health Care (Living Will), and provide advice and yearly updates to your Will.

Speak with a LegalShield Lawyer to get Started

Although it may seem like a daunting project, you don’t have to go through it alone. When you become a LegalShield Member, you’ll have access to a lawyer who can help you step by step through your estate planning process. For an affordable monthly rate, you’ll even have 24/7 legal advice available for covered legal emergencies. And when it comes to certain things like your end-of-life preparations, having that kind of support isn’t just a good idea, it’s necessary.

LegalShield provides access to legal services offered by a network of provider law firms to LegalShield Members through member-based participation. Neither LegalShield nor its officers, employees or sales associates directly or indirectly provide legal services, representation or advice. See a plan contract for specific state of residence for complete terms, coverage, amounts, and conditions. This is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact an attorney for legal advice or assistance. If you are a LegalShield member, you should contact your Provider Law Firm.

Speak with a LegalShield Lawyer about Creating Your Will