As you become an adult, one question you may have is “who needs a will?”.
The answer is everyone!
Everybody dies and almost no-one knows when.
It is a common misconception that only certain people need wills. Every woman (and every man) should have their end of life documents ready and handy, regardless of their age.
Women & Men both need a will. Here are some examples of why.
You Need a Will if You Have Children
Who needs a will? Anybody with children, especially if those children are still minors. Often, the only place custody is discussed in regards to end-of-life planning is in a parent’s will
If you do not have a will or your will does not designate the guardianship actions to be taken with your children, a court will end up deciding on your behalf.
The courts do have a protocol for these situations, but it all depends on circumstance, and it is not a guarantee that your family or relatives (even the other parent) will take over custody.
If you die and the other biological parent is still alive, capable and willing, the children will likely go to them. However, if, for any reason, the other parent is not capable of caring for the children, the court will try to find the closest capable and willing relative to become the guardian of the children. If there are no capable or willing relatives, your children will end up in foster care.
You Need a Will to Avoid Family Infighting
If you have any kind of estate (any property or assets), there is a risk that your family will argue over it. Stories abound of families tearing themselves apart of potential inheritance, and some never recover.
In fact, Forbes believes that about $1 trillion will be inherited every year on average until about thirty years from now. Whether this trend is continued beyond that is unclear.
What is clear is that with savings and assets to pass down, families often get to fighting and splitting up over objects and bank accounts.
You Need a Will to Name an Executor
One specific issue that can be avoided by having a will is a struggle over an executor. An executor is a person chosen by you to distribute your estate.
An executor needs to be someone who not only understands money but who is unlikely to lie or cheat others out of what is rightfully theirs.
If you want to avoid any potential issues by having everyone paid equally, regardless of who the executor is, this needs to be specified in the will.
You Need a Will to Lay Out Specific Instructions
There may be some aspects of your estate that you have specific wishes for that go beyond who owns what. For instance, maybe there is a charity you support or a business owned by you or some other member of your family that you wish to contribute to. You will need to lay this out in your will.
Another example is if you own shares of stock, and you want a decision on the stocks (or vote on shareholders’ rights) decided a certain way. Your wish will also need to be stated in your will.
Who Needs a Will?
Who needs a will? Everyone. Both Women and Men.
No matter how small you think your estate may be, you have something that can be passed on to your family or loved ones.
Remember, there are many purposes of a will, but above all else, a will is meant to care for family members.