I heard someone once say, “100% research shows you are guaranteed to die.” It was funny in the context in which it was said, but in reality, it is such a true statement. I still consider myself a young soul at the age of 35 with two kids. There seems to be a whole life ahead of me. Correct? Well, yes and no.
It really hit me when we had our first son. If we were to die then, we would have had nothing left for him. And ideally, he has a lot more life ahead of him. Making the smart choice, we decided to put together our living will.
Now, most of you will probably be in the same category as we were. We did not really have much to leave. No estate, not accrued wealth, and maybe a net worth equivalent to the value of our cars. So, why did we need a living will? You would be surprised if you started one.
Here are two things that we had not considered;
In the little things we thought we had, my wife and I had not accounted for the $1.8M we had in Term Life Insurance (Get a free quote). Term Life insurance is safety net we put in place as insurance for our family but had left no instructions on what to do with it in case of the unfortunate. That is what a living will can do for you. You might have life insurance through work or agent and if the amount is substantial, that is potential money that if you do not have a living will, could disappear or be misused. All your effort to make these payments monthly, hopefully, have something left for your family could easily be to no good. Our living will, stipulates who, what, when, and how this gift will be beneficial to the family members left behind in the unfortunate event.
Not many of us think of who will take care of our children when we die abruptly. The obvious would be my wife/husband/partner, dah! Well, what happens if both of you are gone at the same time? This is where having a living will would be great because it causes you to place the people you please in charge of your children. Otherwise, you are leaving it up to the government to make the decision. Not sure that would be the desire of most of us. Knowing that your children will be taken care of in accordance with your will, is such a peace of mind. Think about it!
Recently, Aretha Franklin passed away, and word is she did not have a living will. She was estimated to have a net worth of about $80 million. Without a living will, half that money is going to go to lawyers and the government. Her children will not probably have what she intended to leave for them. So, take time to make a living will.
Every state has a basic living will that you can do on your own without a lawyer. All it will cost you is two witnesses and a notarized stamp. That is what we did and now we have a basic will that we can update with time. What are you waiting for?