Where’s There’s a Will, There’s a Will.

At the link is an interesting piece at WealthManagement.com that compares the reasons people gave in 1927 for not making a will with the reasons people give now. It’s worth a read if for no other reason than the photographs from those bygone days are great.

That said, here are the reasons people gave in 1927:

  1. A superstitious fear that making a will inevitably ushers in death faster.
  2. Mental laziness—putting off the process of working out the details of distribution and apportionment with a fair regard to what’s equitable and just.
  3. A sense of inadequacy to plan for the future.
  4. The expectation that a little later, the mind will be “better made up.”
  5. The dread of expense in paying for competent legal advice.
  6. Sheer hesitation and procrastination.

And here’s what people say today:

  1. I am too young.
  2. I don’t want to think about dying.
  3. The belief that assets will automatically pass to the proper individuals.
  4. Drafting a will is expensive.
  5. The belief that only wealthy people need wills.
  6. Not ready to make important decisions.
  7. Avoid dealing with family issues.
  8. Reluctant to discuss personal details with an attorney.
  9. Unaware of the consequences of not having a will.

There is no real good reason to not make a will–a very basic estate planning document that anyone who owns anything or who has minor children should have. And the two reasons I’ve bolded above have no merit. You can buy a do-it-yourself will online for as low as $30.00. A good attorney can draft a simple will for as little as $250.00. (Other estate planning documents–trusts, powers of attorney, and the like–are an additional cost.)

So go get that will. Tell the world who gets what when you die and who you want to be the guardian of your minor children. Just do it.

Or let your state’s law of intestacy do it all for you.

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