Planning Your Legacy

3 Signs You’re Ready to Create a Will

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There are many sound financial reasons to create a will. If you don’t have one yet, you’ll know it’s time to create one when any of these situations apply to you:

1. You don't want to leave anything to the IRS.

If you have children, a house, a car or basically any other assets (like family heirlooms), you need a will. A will helps ensure those assets are distributed to the people you want to have them. Keep in mind that if you are single, divorced or live with someone you aren’t legally married to, a will is even more important.

Without a will, the state, in most situations, decides who will receive your estate. Your family could spend a lot in court costs and taxes that would have been avoided with a few relatively simple estate planning documents.

2. You want to prevent family battles.

Everyone knows a few horror stories about how the lovely wake for dear Aunt Betty turned into a bloody brawl over who was going to get her teacup collection. Whether you need to play referee or merely want to simplify what will be difficult decisions for your family, your will can help eliminate the struggle for others trying to figure out what you would want.

3. You have a life ahead of you and want to live it worry-free.

Think wills are only for people on their deathbeds? If you leave creating a will until the end of your life, you’re leaving a lot up to chance. Most people think they’re too young to write a will, but parents with school-aged children may need a will most of all. While the likelihood seems lower, the stakes are higher. Parents with young children need to consider trusts, guardianship and other plans. And, more often than not, they find the relief of managing those details is worth it.

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