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The importance of creating a will

Creating a will is one of the most important legal actions for people of all ages. Many younger people think that writing a will is for later in life. In fact, a will can be one of the most important measures for young families to protect their spouse and children from extreme financial losses in the event of an unexpected death.

Why do you need a will?

A will is a document that describes your wishes when you die. It may surprise you that about two-thirds of people in the United States do not have a will. If you pass away without a will, your estate, along with who will care for your children, will be decided by the court rather than by you. How the court distributes your assets will reflect current state law—which may be a poor match compared to what you might have wanted for the people you love.

What does a will do?

A will specifies who you want to manage your property. The document names an “executor”, the person tasked with winding up your affairs, including paying off any remaining debts, closing your bank accounts or liquidating assets. The executor you name should be someone you trust to carry out your wishes, whether it’s a friend, family member or other party. Without an executor named in your will, the court will assign someone to take that responsibility.

A will also describes where you want your property or other assets to go. Your will can specifically list all valuables and assets and name the beneficiaries. Without a will, your property will be distributed based on state law rather than your wishes. This can be extremely awkward, especially for couples who share a life but are unmarried. Even if your partner can file a lawsuit to continue living in the home you shared, these legal actions are expensive, often take years to resolve, and your loved one may lose the battle. Your will protects those you love from facing this type of situation, which unfortunately is not uncommon.

Your kids

Should both parents die in an accident or incident, your will names the guardian you choose to raise them in your absence. Your children’s guardians are responsible for their upbringing, health, home and all other needs. If you don’t have a will that names a guardian for your children, the court will choose one. The shocking truth is that without a will, your children could be raised by someone you don’t know or wouldn’t choose for this critical role.

Your will can even determine who will care for your pets in the event of your passing, making sure they go to a loving person who will treat them with the care you want for them, along with providing money for their care for that person.

Life insurance and your loved ones

Your property, if it has a specific value, can take years to go through the probate process. During that time, your loved ones may experience severe financial stress, unable to access the finances they need to survive – and that’s when life insurance can save the day. The benefits are paid quickly, are not taxed and provide the funds your family needs to survive, including mortgage payments, education costs and any other financial needs. If you need help finding an affordable policy that will give your loved ones the highest possible benefits, contact one of our local agents.

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