Living and last wills

Protect your family by establishing a will

In 2016, an iconic pop star by the name of Prince left this world. He was loved by many and some of his songs are still the most popular ever written. It was shocking and sad for many who grew up listening to his music. Another shock rippled through the country when it was announced that Prince did not have a will. His net worth was stated to be anywhere from a million to $300 million. It is hard to believe a financial advisor or another consultant would not have helped ensure the star created a will early in his career.

According to a poll conducted by Gallup in 2016, 44% of Americans reported having a will. This statistic is down from 51% who reported having a will in 2005.

Creating a will, also known as a last will, can seem overwhelming and intimidating for some, but it is something that you should ensure is in place for after you are gone. This document will protect you, your family and your property. Additionally, if you still have children who are minors, a will allows you to name a guardian to care for your children. Many parents feel strongly about who they would want their children to go live with should they not be here. It’s an important decision that can weigh heavily on parents, so make sure your wishes are honored by having a legal document drawn up.

Additionally, some may choose to also create a living will. This is effective while you are still alive, while a last will does not go into effect until after you are gone. According to a 2014 survey conducted by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, only 26% of Americans currently have an advance directive – such as a living will. A living will tells your family and medical professionals what treatment and/or procedures you do or don’t want should you become unable to make those decisions. If you have strong feelings about certain medical treatment procedures, it may be a good idea to consider a living will.