If you haven’t gotten around to completing this “adulting” task, you’re in good company. A number of studies show that at least 60% of adults don’t have a will.
We all procrastinate – but throw a newborn, a toddler or two, a middle-schooler’s after-school schedule and full time jobs in the mix, and anything that’s not about just getting through the day gets shoved aside. But let’s face it. You’re the parent and the one in charge (hard to believe sometimes, I know) and there are certain things that need to be done no matter how unpleasant they seem. Preparing your will, trust, and other estate planning documents is one of them.
Here are some common reasons why people put off this important decision – and the reasons why you shouldn’t put it off any longer:
You Think You Need to be “Wealthy” to Need a Will.
Even if you don’t have millions in the bank, you still want to decide who the guardian of your children would be and where your property would go upon your death. Setting up a will and trust allows you to make these important decisions.
You Really Don’t Want to Think About It.
No one wants to think about this. But it’s better that you think about it now than a court make these decisions later. Remember, you’re the responsible adult here (take a deep breath and pour yourself a glass of wine if you need to.)
You Don’t Know What Happens When You Don’t Have a Will.
If you don’t have a will, state statute essentially makes one for you. In Illinois, half of your assets would go to your spouse, and half to your children. That’s probably not the result you’re looking for.
You’re Dreading Having this Discussion with Your Spouse.
It can be daunting to decide who will take care of your kids if you can’t. And maybe even a little awkward to bring it up. But it’s better for the two of you to make those tough calls now – even if it means one of you has to sleep on the couch for a night – instead of the decision being made without your input.
You Think It Will Take Too Much Effort to Get This Done.
Trust – Estate Planning for New Families makes the process as simple as possible. A few phone calls, filling out a few forms, and one in-person meeting (feel free to bring your kids!) and you’re done. It takes more effort to pack up your kids for a day at the pool. Literally.
There is often a collective sigh of relief around the table when we finish signing documents. Whatever your reason for putting it off, getting it done feels incredible!