The Finance Blogger


Preparing a Will – Why Many People Avoid It

Preparing a WillWe talked about Preparing a Will, about estate plans, selecting a lawyer, role of an executor and the type of wills that consumers can consider in some of our previous posts. This post focuses in on why many people close to us for various reasons delay the preparation of a will. If you fall into one of these categories we would really like you to reconsider and prepare a will today, to avoid additional complications for your family. We all know that a will is needed, but for some reason we just cannot get going and get it done.

You have already read some of the impacts that might occur if you do not have a will in our other posts. We will not repeat them hear, but we do urge you to read some of the posts on this web site to learn about some of the issues associated with not having a will.

There are many reasons for needing a will. They range from the desired distribution of assets to how you want your funeral to be arranged and how your personal care should be dealt with if you are disabled and you cannot make decisions for yourself.

Why do People Avoid Preparing a Will?

The reasons vary, but for most people they result in you and your family being exposed to the legal morass of not having a will. A few of the many reasons are listed here and why they might not be good reasons to delay preparation of your will : Too Young; No Dependents; Too Healthy;  Too Busy; Legal costs; Can’t decide Who Should Receive the Assets ; Can’t face the Prospect of Death

Too Young

You are never too young to have a will. Anyone can have a car accident, be involved in an altercation or have a serious health issue and find themselves in a situation where they cannot make decisions for themselves or are dead. A living will can specify how you want to be looked after and a will can dictate how your assets will be distributed.  Most people do not wake up to this situation until a close friend passes away without a will or they see how decisions are made for someone who cannot make their own decisions.  Take control of your life now and arrange for a will to be drawn up that covers both the living will aspect as well as your estate.

No Dependents

Some people feel they do not need a will since they have no dependents. They really do not care were their assets end up and how they are looked after.  Do you want your friends and family making decisions regarding your estate or some bureaucrat?  How do you want to be looked after if you are in a coma and cannot make decisions for yourself? Perhaps you want your estate to go to a cousin or brother or sister. Having a will can cover all of this and your estate is divided based on your directions.

Too Healthy

I am too healthy right now to worry about needing a will. I plan to live for another 40 years so I will deal with a will in a few years. This is a common feeling among many young healthy adults. The wake up call usually occurs when a seemingly healthy close friend or family member passes away.  Why wait, you can always change your will later in life if needed.

Too Busy

You are in the middle of your career with a challenging job, the kids are in activities after school and there are no extra minutes in your life to think about preparing a will. We have all been there, and know what it is like to not have any time for what we consider to be lower priority activities. A life changing event can change your perspective and sometimes it takes this sort of thing to refocus people on their life and what is important to them. It only takes a couple of hours with a lawyer to draw up a basic will to ensure that you and your family are protected. Don’t wait for something catastrophic to happen to trigger the preparation of a will, do it now.

Legal costs

The legal costs can be an issue for many people living on a small income or without any extra funds to spend on what might be considered a low priority. Like insurance, a will is for something that may occur in the future. At the very least prepare a will using one of the online versions that are available. Save it and store it were members of your family can find it. Most important tell your family members that you have prepared a will. Meeting with a lawyer is always best and a basic will can often be prepared for a few hundred dollars. A lawyer will ensure that the proper language is considered and all aspects are looked after.

Can’t decide Who Should Receive the Assets

This can be an issue, especially for some parents or people without any direct heirs to their estate. The worst situation is to die intestate (without a will) and the government decides for you who should receive the assets. You can always change the will later in life. Have a will prepared now that deals with both the living will aspect as well as the estate distribution, then change it later if your life changes or if your personal situation changes.

Can’t face the Prospect of Death

Some of us do not want to even think about the prospect of our own death. We are young, healthy and immortal, so why would we ever need a will? This feeling is pretty typical of younger people and even middle age people. Unfortunately reality hits when we get sick or a close family member finds themselves in a situation that would have been greatly improved had they prepared a proper will.

We cannot predict life events. We cannot predict what will happen to us as we go about our daily activities. Preparing a will is a relatively simple thing to do and you can change it at any time should circumstances in your life change. Make arrangements now. Don’t wait until it is too late!


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