All Christians want to go to Heaven, but no one ever wants to think about dying. However, death is inevitable for all human beings whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. But being prepared for one’s death is a choice.
“WILL” You Be Ready?
Will preparation is a helpful tool that hopefully would ease the burden of decision-making by families and loved ones in the event of your passing. It is a legal document that sets forth your personal wishes for any assets or personal belongings you would like to have assigned to either family, friends, favorite charities, Churches, etc.
What Happens if You Die Without a Will?
If you have a living spouse or children, the decision-making may be left by default those who are legally recognized as survivors of the deceased. If you die and do not have relatives or designated beneficiaries then you will be regarded as an intestate person. Depending on the rules of your state of residency at the time of your death, the state may determine that your assets be given to a next of kin or they may take possession of your belongings if no next of kin exists or can be verified.
Going Up Yonder
Another reason for preparing a will is to avoid any unnecessary unpleasantries between family members and/or friends. By making preparation for your arrangements in advance, you can save your relatives both time and money. Funeral preparation can be a very stressful time for the survivors of the deceased. It is also a time that family discord often hits a feverish pitch.
Suddenly everyone remembers what the deceased had promised may have promised them. Whether it is some treasured heirloom or personal piece of property, if it is undocumented then it is hard to prove.
Sad as it sounds, it is all too common to have family members stop speaking over material things. Whether it’s Big Momma’s ring or a coveted family punch bowl, the passing of the deceased is sometimes overshadowed by family infighting.
So why don’t more people take the time to prepare a will?
Common Myths Surrounding Will Preparation
- Once you prepare a will, you are more likely to die sooner
- Only rich people have wills
- You need a lawyer to prepare a will
- I don’t have any assets
- I have assets but I’m still very young
- Will preparation is expensive, complicated and time-consuming
“WILL” You Face Reality?
- People who prepare wills do not die any sooner or later than anyone else. The truth is, none of us will know when our time has come. The Bible tells us life is but a vapor. None of us know the exact number of days assigned to our lives. We aren’t even certain about tomorrow. (James 4:14)
- Anyone who has acquired anything of personal value regardless of cost should prepare a will. By preparing your own will you get to make the decision as to who your belongings will go to rather than have it haphazardly decided by people who may or may not be privy to your final wishes.
- Hiring a lawyer isn’t always necessary, especially if there are no large estates or complicated transfers of assets involved. Online legal technology provided by companies such as LegalZoom, can allow you to create legal documents on your own without the use of a lawyer.
- Assets are not always defined monetarily. Anything that you would consider a treasured possession can be an asset, particularly if it is something you would consider leaving to someone as a remembrance of you.
- If you do have assets such as a home, car, business or something else of considerable value, you should consider protecting yourself legally with a will. A documented will clearly states your wishes in the event of your passing regardless of your present age. Death is no respecter of youth.
- Will preparation doesn’t automatically have to be expensive, complicated or even time-consuming. LegalZoom again is a great resource for do-it-yourself legal documents that can be customized based on your personal needs.
Time “WILL” Tell
There’s no perfect time to start considering preparing a will. Most people unfortunately don’t even think about it unless they suddenly become ill. Preparing a will is not something that is done because you think you may die soon. Do it because you already know with certainty that you can’t take any of your earthly belongings with you.
Hearses do not come equipped with a U-Haul. So before you “fly away”, consider getting your house in order. Once your will has been completed, the next step will be to assign either an executor, which may be a trusted family member or friend or a hire a professional advisor to execute your final instructions.
A will can also be easily changed using what’s called a codicil, which is basically an amendment. Changes sometimes are sometimes required due to unforeseen circumstances or new life events.
When it comes to preparing for your end-of-life events you can either opt to let THY will be done or risk trying to figure out the timing of your own mortality and let the chips fall where they may. Preparation will always the best choice.