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Importance of having a "will"

Like the saying goes, there are only two sure things in the world, death and taxes, and since we covered taxes back in April…

Planning your estate, for when you pass on, is a sensitive subject but is of great importance. There are responsibilities you must take to insure that when you are gone, your affairs will be handled to your liking. A “will” is an important legal testament for you after your death. Without a “will” you are considered “intestate,” and the government determines the fate of your estate. A “will” can also avoid any family quarrels that may arise from the state dispersing the estate.

Many attorneys handle estate planning and “will” writing for a nominal cost. Ask questions, as each case is different per individual. It’s important to update your "will" with any new children, marriages, property, or assets you acquire throughout the years.

If you have a spouse it is a good idea to work on your “wills” together. Consider the chance that if the both of you were to die, who would be guardian of your children. Confirm that they are dedicated to take on that responsibility if needed. Don’t feel obligated to choose a family member, just someone you trust.

Your “will” should include personal property and to whom you want to give it to. List guardians of any minor children you have. It should also include the “will’s” Executor and Trustee.

Even if you and your spouse have joint ownership, it is still important for both of you to have a “will”. Some assets cannot be handled through joint ownership. And again, if in the unfortunate incident that both you and your spouse died together, it would make it easier to disperse your property accordingly.

Keep a copy of your “will” in a place that is easily accessible. The original will be kept in the office where it was drafted. A safe deposit box is generally NOT the best place to keep your “will”, as it may require a court order to obtain it.

Many people today also choose to have a “living will”. This includes your medical preferences if something were to happen to you and you were left in a comatose or vegetative state.

Though uncomfortable, your “will” is your peace-of-mind when you leave this earth.

Top 10 Reasons to make a "will"

1. Make the most difficult time for loved ones easier.

2. Name who takes care of your children.

3. Prevent bitter family battles.

4. Simplfy the legal process.

5. Name who gets your assests.

6. Prevent confusion.

7. Protect the family home or business.

8. Minimize legal costs.

9. Elimanate cost for administrator bond.

10. Gives consideration to your personal choices.

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It is our policy at Pioneer Credit Counseling not only to help people get out of debt, but also educate in sound budgeting practices.

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