Having a will is one of the most important aspects of growing older. As a senior citizen, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently about what will happen to my loved ones when I pass.
It’s a grim topic to think about, but it’s one that becomes more real every day. Today, I want to look at why seniors should have a will, and how senior citizen legal services can help you.
Before I go into more detail on why you need one so badly, we also need to look at what a will does just in case you aren’t quite sure.
A will is the most basic sense is a set of legally binding instructions on what should be done with all of your property, assets, and belongings after you pass.
Those belongings and assets are considered an “estate”, and without a proper will your family will have to deal with a myriad of legal red tape during their time of grief.
Just like paying your taxes, you can write a will yourself, or you can get the assistance of a legal professional.
If you do choose to do it yourself, the will should be written on a special form that you can get from a variety of sources, and it should be notarized. If you don’t get it notarized, it can cause a good deal of trouble for the lawyers when the time comes to read the will.
I would opt for a lawyer to help me write mine, as I felt more comfortable that the will would hold up and cause the least amount of trouble for my family.
If you have assets like stocks, 401k accounts, multiple cars, and a house, one small mistake due to a misinterpretation of the will form could cause my spouse to lose her home.
Another major reason why every senior should have a will is to provide a plan and some money to help care for any pets that you own.
Most states and governments consider pet’s property and don’t allow you to leave the pet assets. Hence, it’s important that you designate who will be given ownership of the pet, and leave them with enough money to properly care for the pet.
Debts owed to you are an important aspect that you also need to have dealt with in your will.
You have two choices of how to approach those debts. You can have debts that are owed to you be paid to your estate so that your family can use the money going forward.
You can also choose to have a debt that is owed to you forgiven in full. You can do this on a case by case basis, and can even forgive just a specific portion of the debt.
Keep in mind that this is only possible is your estate isn’t in debt when you pass. If that is the case, then all debtors must pay into the estate no matter what.
I hope that you now have a much better understanding of why having a will is so important if you are a senior.
I have to admit that having one takes a lot of the stress and worry out of my daily life, and I can now rest easy at night. I hope that after you get your own will done, you’ll feel more at ease too.