Writing a will is something a lot more Americans should do. To explain why, let’s bust 5 myths about wills so we can turn around the startling number that more than 50% of Americans don’t have a will.
Myth #1: I’m Young, I Don’t Need a Will
We recently wrote a whole post on why you aren’t too young to have a will. In that article, we highlighted 3 main reasons why young people should set up a will
You will die
Wills protect your loved ones
Wills minimize court involvement
We’ll speak to each of these in this post as well but from a different angle. For now, let’s focus on the first one.
The thing is - young people die all the time. Car wrecks happen every single day. Covid has killed young people. Accidents happen at work.
Yes, statistically you are not likely to pass away soon. But you never know what can happen! Why not make a small time and financial investment required to get a will set up just in case? Why is it so important? That ties to the next few myths.
Myth #2: I Don’t Own a Lot
Writing a will isn’t just for wealthy people. It’s for anyone who wants to make sure the wealth they do have is passed on to the right people
It’s about more than that, though. Wills, help tie together trusts and estate planning, but they also help make sure your wishes are carried out in other ways.
For example, do you have young children or a pet? Would you want the courts to decide who should take care of them when you pass away? Or are there specific people in your life that you know would be the best guardians?
Most people are in the second camp. They know someone - possibly a good family friend - who would be the best guardian for their kids if they passed away. You need a will to make sure those people get custody.
Myth #3: Writing a Will Takes Too Much Time
We know you’re busy. Between work, school, family, hobbies, and everything else going on, most Americans live full and busy lives. Carving out a little time to draft a will may seem like it’s a low priority.
But writing a will doesn’t take too much time. And the best news is once you’re done, you are done! Sure, it’s a good idea to update it when you have major life changes such as a new child or grandchild. In general, though, it’s a small investment that will give you peace of mind later because you’ll know it’s done. Can you spare one afternoon?
Myth #4: My Debts Die With Me so I Don’t Need a Will
Debts don’t work like that. When you die, your debts don’t magically go away. Remember that debts are from organizations that loaned you money for one reason or another. If your debts just magically disappeared, they’d be out a lot of money.
Instead, what happens is your assets are used to pay off the debts. If you don’t have enough cash, assets will be sold off. Writing a will is important because it can outline which assets should be sold to pay off your debts. Don’t leave this up to chance - help the executor of the will know what you’d wanted by including this type of information in the will.
Myth #5: My Spouse Will Just Get Everything When I Die
There are two main reasons why this isn’t a good idea to bank on.
First - your spouse may pass away at the same time as you. What if you’re both in the same car wreck?
Second - do you want every single dime to pass on to your spouse? What if you have other people in your life that you’d also want to have part of the inheritance?
Writing a will is the safe route that can avoid these pitfalls so your loved ones get the assets you want them to have.
Don’t believe the myths about wills - they’re important for every adult, no matter what stage of life you’re in. Contact us and we’ll help you every step of the way.