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  • Writer's pictureRuth-Ann E. Toups

Are These Common Excuses Keeping You From Writing Your Will?

1. I don’t have enough money to need a will.

No we aren’t all millionaires or even close. In fact, 48% of Americans live pay-check-to-pay-check and those of us balancing our income against our student loan debt may believe our net worth will always be in the red. So, if your hesitation is I don’t have enough to leave behind, then you are far from alone. The truth is, you will leave stuff behind. You will leave your loan payments and rent behind. Money is also the least meaningful thing you will leave behind. Your favorite t-shirt, your couch, your TV, and your dog are all important assets that those close to you will want divided fairly. It’s also important to specify who you want to take care of your estate in your will. Your executor (or executrix) will be in charge of wrapping up your estate, passing on your favorite t-shirt, and finding a new home for your pup. It can be really hard if you don’t chose this person. It likely will be too much for the person closest to you to handle these intimate details. And, if you leave it to the court to divide your meaningful assets and handle your estate, things may not go to those who would appreciate them the most.

2. I just want everything to go to my spouse and the law automatically does that anyway.

While basic intestacy rules (the laws saying what happens when you die without a plan) will give your spouse your assets after you pass, those rules don’t apply when your family structure is more complicated. (Like if you have child from another relationship.) Also, your spouse will be amongst the most heartbroken after you pass. A will lets you appoint someone else to handle your affairs as an executor and can relieve your spouse of the weight of wrapping up your affairs in the wake of your passing. That’s an extremely kind and loving thing to do for them. It is, however, important that you talk all of these decisions through with them. Sit down together and with a lawyer and decide what is best for each of you and for your family as a whole. But make sure you know the law is actually going to do what you think it’s going to do. Talk to your lawyer to be sure that you really are leaving everything to your spouse.

3. I don’t know who I would name as my kids’ guardian.

But, do you want to know who you’d be leaving your kids with? This is no doubt an important decision. You don’t need to have it made before you meet with your lawyer. Let her sit down with you and explain what a guardian does and is responsible for. Learning more about guardianship can help you make the right decision. Meeting with your lawyer gives you another person to help make that decision. But, don’t wait. You want to know who is going to take care of your kids in the unlikely event that both you and your spouse pass. And, you want your kids to be comforted and well taken care of in that situation, too.

4. I don’t want to think about dying.

Death can be a scary topic. It can be especially overwhelming if it’s something you haven’t experienced with close loved ones, or maybe even if you have. But, those of us who have lost someone dear to us know that the most loving thing they did to help us when we were grieving is to set up their estate plan. As uncomfortable as it is to take a few hours and talk about this topic, think of all the discomfort you’ll be saving your family from by doing this work now so they don’t have to do this work while they are missing you. One of the best ways you can love your family is to go meet with your attorney about your will. Your attorney is going to help you feel better and she won’t make the situation seem morbid or depressing. Once you start talking about the assets that are important to you and the people who are important to you, it can just feel like your setting up future gifts for those you love.

5. I don’t have enough time to go meet with a lawyer.

No problem, we have you covered. The Toups Law Firm can meet you when and where is convenient to you. Is the best time for you on your lunch break? We can come to your favorite lunch spot or your office. And, it doesn’t take months or even weeks to get your will complete. Call us today and we will get it done quickly and easily.

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