“I’m 35, single, and in good health. I don’t need a will!”

Yes, you do.

I’m going to talk about estate planning today, which isn’t exciting or glamorous, but it is definitely an uncomfortable subject. Here are some compelling reasons why you should consider getting a will, and how you can do it without too much hassle.

  1. Protect your assets. I rent, so on paper, it may look like I don’t own much. But if you add in my car, retirement accounts, my business, and my other assets, it all adds up. Having a will means I know what I am worth, and I know my interests are protected.
  1. Have your wishes fulfilled. My will includes instructions to be cremated and having my ashes scattered. I know from conversations with my parents they would prefer to bury me. But my will trumps their wishes and I don’t leave my final wishes to chance. It’s spelled out in black and white.
  1. Spare your loved ones. Many of us know people who pass away without wills and relatives and friends come out of the woodwork, all wanting valuables or a piece of the deceased’s estate. This can cause heartache and ruptures in the family as it drags out in the courts. Do you want to subject your family to that kind of grief? Having a will guarantees squabbles won’t arise after your death, and preserves the peace.
  1. You really never know. I am young and healthy, but sadly none of us know what the future holds. A very dear friend of mine died at 33 years old. She had no will, and her heart-broken parents had to go through her estate and determine what she owed. It was so difficult for them to take care of all her paperwork. I don’t want my parents to have to go through that, so my will has specific instructions, and my sister is my executor.

I gave my parents power of attorney over me before I moved to France for a year. They were baffled why I would do such a thing, saying nothing bad would happen to me. Well, at the end of my trip, my appendix ruptured and I got a blood infection. I very nearly didn’t make it home. But because they had power of attorney over me, I made it legally easier for them to bring me home to the States in case I did die. I was only 23.                                                                                                                    

As a Dave Ramsey fan, I followed his advice and got my will drawn up at USLegalForms.Com. They offer state-specific wills you can fill out online and are valid legal documents. At $49.95 for a PDF or $59.95 for a paper form, it certainly is a budget-friendly way to draw up a will. Rates may vary depending on your state, but it is certainly worth investigating. There are other websites like LegalZoom.com which offer wills created online for a reasonable cost. It pays to do your research!

Of course you can meet with a lawyer and draw up a will. That is advantageous because you are dealing with real people who know you and can amend the will whenever you need it. Be prepared to spend $300-$1,000, but that is money well spent!

Hopefully this blog post has given you some food for thought and will have you consider creating a will. Think about your loved ones. Do you want to put them through anxiety and additional grief of taking care of your estate with no written directives?

Of course not. So look into getting a will started. Now.

Do you have a will? Why or why not? Comment below!