August is National Make-A-Will Month. For many busy Americans, this annual reminder is just the motivation they need to sit down and write down their last will and testament. And once they do, they’ll find that the process isn’t as long or tedious as many people think.
Do you still have to make your will? If you’re busy or not sure what to do, here are three good reasons to encourage you to write your will this August.
1. It is an important legal document that everyone should have.
Every adult should have a will. A will is a powerful document that can distribute assets and protect loved ones after death.
A third of American adults have a will, and the number is growing every day. This is especially true during Make-A-Will month. So, if you haven’t written or updated your will – for some reason – now is a good time to get involved in the movement.
2. A will gives you and your family peace of mind.
Wills aren’t just for the rich and famous. They make life and death easier for everyone, regardless of socio-economic status.
Think about your assets. You may think you don’t have it, but you probably have more money than you think: house, car, furniture, clothes, books, sentimental items, and more. Without a will, when you inherit, your loved ones will work to find a home for these things. Creating a will helps prevent family conflict, relieves stress, and guarantees your assets go to the people you most want to have them. It also gives your family the confidence and guidance that your wishes can be granted during a very difficult time.
With a will, you can plan ahead for your loved ones. For example, you can choose a legal guardian for your children and choose who should take care of your pets.
The logistical benefits of having a will are significant. But above all, having a will creates peace of mind for you and your loved ones.
3. You can create a legacy that lasts forever.
None of us live forever. But there are plenty of ways to have a positive impact on the world long after you’ve died. One of these methods is to donate to charity through thought.
There are many ways that can be used to benefit a charity. You can donate cash, stocks, real estate, etc. Donating to a nonprofit organization in your will won’t cost you anything for the rest of your life, but it can be invaluable to a cause that’s been close to your heart for years to come.
Already make your will?
It is an excellent first step. Now that you have a will, it’s important to keep it updated. Estate attorneys recommend reviewing your will every three to five years, or whenever there’s a major life event (like a wedding, moving states, or having children).
This month, take 15 minutes to look over your will and make sure it is up to date with your current preferences. Your life and your relationships change over time. It is important that these changes also occur in your will.
You may also want to take a few extra minutes to make sure you’ve designated the beneficiaries of your non-probate assets, such as life insurance or retirement accounts. Establishing a charity as the beneficiary of these assets is another great way to make a lasting impact.
Making a will is the best way to protect your loved ones and contribute to the people and causes you care about most. So if you don’t have one, get started today.