Are you taking care of your loved ones? Do you have a will?

It is the holiday season and therefore also the perfect time to ensure that your loved ones are safe and well cared for now and in the future. Have you thought about drawing up a will? Are you surprised at the suggestion? Don’t be. In todays, society there are thousands of ways in which one can meet an early demise; sad, even a little ominous, but true. The fact is that bad things happen and they do not wait for the “right time” to happen. By drawing up a will you will ensure that your loved ones are cared for if, for whatever reason, you are unable to care for them.

10 Pertinent Reasons to Ensure That You’re Will Is Up To Date

1. You will be able to decide who gets what- When people die intestate, the decision as to who gets what is left in the hands of the court system. In such a case, all of your children and spouse will receive an equal share of your property. Drawing up a will allows you the ability to choose how much you want to bequest to each individual.

2. Step children will be included in the property division-Unless they are legally adopted, the step children are not recognized by the courts as having legal stake in the stepparents estate. This is quite an unfortunate circumstance; as many times step children become as dear as one’s own. Many parents would be heartbroken to learn that the children, they once care for, have been pushed aside.

3. Your spouse will get as much as he/ she needs of your property- Since the law distributes the property equally, sometimes the surviving spouse is left with insufficient funds to care for themselves in the manner to which they are accustomed. A will allows you to protect your surviving spouses’ interest.

4. You will ensure that your minor children are brought up as you saw fit and by whom you saw fit- When minor children are involved and there are no surviving parents, the courts favor assigning guardianship to grandparents. You may feel that someone else is better equipped to care for your children; however, without a will the courts will have no way of knowing your wishes and/ or reservations.

5. You can ensure that your favorite items go to whom you feel is best-Everyone has something that they love and would like to leave to someone. That someone may not always be family. The only way to guarantee that these individuals are not left out is by specifying your wishes in a will. The courts will not recognize individuals which are not blood related as having a claim to your estate, not matter how long they knew you or how intimate the relationship was.

6. Someone you intended to thank will never know your gratitude – There may be many people in your life to which you are appreciative for their love and support. A will allows you to designate a value to your appreciation and even a chance to give a word of thanks post- mortem.

7. You can exclude unwanted individuals from your estate – Just as there are people whom you grow to love because of the bond that you form with them, there are people who will have disappointed you. You may not want these people to benefit in any way from your death. Without a will, if these individuals happen to be a spouse or child, they may have a legal right to claim a portion of your property.

8. You can leave a donation to charity – You may want to contribute to the church, the local orphanage, the cancer wing of the hospital or any other noble cause. These wishes may not be known or honored in the absence of a will.

9. You can ensure that your grandchildren benefit as well – According to the law, grandchildren do not figure into the sharing of property. The law allows for division between the spouse and the deceased’s biological and legal children. With a will you will ensure that your grandchildren get what you would have given them; had you continued living. Grandchildren after all, are a grandparent’s best friend.

10. You can ensure your elders’ care is not interrupted – You may be survived by your aging parents, whose medical or home care and/ or personal bills are paid through your income. A will would enable you to continue to care for them and protect their best interests, if they have reached an age where they cannot care for themselves.

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