Having a will is important nowadays, but many people put off creating one for years, sometimes indefinitely. If you have a family or own property, having a will is not just important, it is a necessity.
No one likes thinking about when they will pass away, especially if they are young. But creating a will makes life much easier for those family members who survive you. If you pass away without a will, your affairs will eventually be sorted out by the courts, but maybe not in the way you’d like. You will also cause unnecessary stress and create unneeded work for your family members who have to deal with the courts.
Your family members will have to help determine how to divide up your remaining property, which can cause arguments and needless disputes. They may not all agree on how to distribute your property, which is why the court will simply make the decision for them. If you have a will in place, they must legally respect the will, making it less likely they fight over who is entitled to what.
If you are a member of an Adventist church, you can have a will created at no cost to you by your local conference.
Fortunately, the Seventh-day Adventist Church makes it simple and free to create a will. If you are a member of an Adventist church, you can have a will created at no cost to you by your local conference. This leaves you no excuse for not having a will. Contact your local conference to set up a time for someone to meet with you and create your will.
Avoiding unnecessary conflict is not the only reason you should create a will. Here are a few other reasons creating a will is essential.
- You need to choose an executor of your estate. An executor is someone who will handle your affairs after you pass away. Someone will have to do this job, whether you designate them or not. It is better for you to choose a person you trust rather than the executor being determined for you. Some of the responsibilities of an executor include:
- Finding the deceased person’s assets.
- Finding and contacting people named in the will.
- Making the sure the will is filed in the correct probate court.
- Wrapping up the deceased’s affairs (canceling credit cards, closing bank accounts, contacting Social Security Administration, etc.).
- Creating a bank account for the estate.
- Paying off debts with the deceased’s assets.
- Paying final income taxes.
- Ensuring property is distributed according to the will.
- If you have minor children, a will determines who those children go to. If you do not have a will in place, the state will decide who your children’s legal guardians will be. If you have a will, you can determine where they go and specify assets to help with their care. If you have assets such as investments, capital, or a business, you can also create a testamentary trust. This is a part of the will that specifies you would like your assets passed on to your children when they turn 18 or at another designated age.
- You can revoke or amend it at any time. As your circumstances change, your will can be changed. You can create a codicil that amends any portion of your will without throwing out the entire thing. Or, if you feel like your will no longer represents your desires, you can revoke it and start over.