Thinking Ahead: Prepare for the Future with a Will

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/witheyes/No one likes to think about death.

The thing is, the death rate is 100 percent; one day, each of us will die.

What happens so many times, is people are not prepared for death, or the death of a loved one. “Think Ahead Thursday” will be tips, ideas, and suggestions for planning life after you.

It will not be easy; thinking about a life without us is extremely hard. But, trust me, it is easier to sleep at night knowing if something happens to me, my children will be taken care of.

The first step in thinking ahead? Make a will.

There are two good options for preparing a will: do it yourself or go to a lawyer.

The Lawyer Route:

  • If you are married, bring your spouse to the meeting. If unmarried, try to bring a trusted friend. After all, two sets of ears are better than one.
  • Try to have someone keep your children during your meeting. This will help you focus on your lawyer and your will.

I am blessed to have a wonderful friend as my lawyer, and he sat down with my husband and me over 5 years ago to set up our will. It was VERY easy, and he made it as painless as possible.

Shane and I do not have a lot monetarily to our name (we also do not own a home), but we wanted to make sure our children would be in good hands if something ever happened to both of us.

Having a will drawn up will make it easier on your child’s future guardians by having YOUR wishes in writing. Without having your wishes in writing, the State could step in and make decisions that effect everyone.

It is less likely that the State will step in and make decisions on your behalf if your wishes are in writing.

Reasons to choose the D-I-Y Route:

  • You are short on time {not life-wise, just busy/time-wise}. Both options are quick and easy, and have a “will in under 15 minutes” option.
  • You want or need a less expensive option.
  • You simply want your wishes known and exacted out.

I have not had personal experience with either d-i-y option, but both are well-recommended for will preparation. Both give you step-by-step instructions by asking questions and giving you options. Neither one is free, but both are reasonably priced.

One last thing: according to the sites above, it is not necessary for a will to be notarized to be legal. I recommend having a notary (found at a bank, and many local agencies) sign and witness your signing the will.  The small fee will definitely be worth it, in my opinion, as you have a witness to your legal document.

Do you have a will? If you do, did you go through a lawyer or do it yourself? If not, would you consider drawing one up?

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, nor did I consult one for this post. This is not to be assumed as professional legal advice. This post simply reflects my opinion on the subject matter of will preparation.

Photo credit: Witheyes

Comments

  1. Amber says

    My husband and I finally got around to doing this after about 1 1/2 years of talking about it. We went with a local lawyer, and it was really easy. Basically, our wills state that if one of us dies, the other inherits everything. If both of us die, our son gets everything. We also named an executor of the will and guardians. It will have to be updated in a few years since our named guardians are my in-laws (who aren’t getting any younger). It cost a little money, but it is worth the peace of mind to know that everything would be taken care of if something happened. I highly recommend everyone make out a will!

    • says

      Amber, thank you for sharing! I agree that everyone with a will needs to look at it every few years, and make necessary changes (adding another child, removing someone who has passed on, etc). Your will sounds very similar to ours, except our children will go to my husband’s sister and her husband. But, as you said, it is all worth the peace you feel knowing everything and everyone will be taken care of!

  2. says

    We had ours done up a few months after our first child was born. If anything happened to us I wanted to make sure that everything was in place for our daughter; including our wishes that my parents raise her.

    We live in Canada and I think here you have to have it done by a lawyer for it to be legal though I am not positive. Our lawyer was very helpful, I think it was $250 but now everything is settled.

    • says

      Jenn, thank you for your comment. I’m glad you included your story, and that those living in Canada need to see what would be the proper legal action for obtaining a will.

    • says

      Hey! I hope it helps you out. You definitely need a will, but I see how it can be intimidating to speak to a lawyer; a will and your wishes are very personal. However, I hope that you will look into an online version, and at least get one drawn up. Obviously, I feel very strongly about this :D but it is just something that is so essential for “just in case.”

      Love ya!
      Amy

  3. says

    My husband and I set ours up with a lawyer right after we got married. It was expensive!

    However, we have not updated them or named a guardian for our child and she is almost 6! This is something we really need to do.
    .-= Jenny´s last blog ..Happy Birthday Dad! =-.

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