Surprising as it may seem, according to a 2017 survey by AARP, only 58% of baby boomers (ages 53-71) have estate planning, including wills.That means 42% don’t! It’s even worse for people between ages 37 and 52: only 36% have estate planning!
Meanwhile, the results of a poll conducted by an online legal service called Rocker Lawyer in 2011 showed that almost one-third of the respondents said they would prefer doing their taxes or getting a root canal rather than putting their dying wishes on a piece of paper. There were some who said they would stop having sex for a month instead of making a will! One of the reasons why most people hate making a will is that they don’t want to talk about their death.
The whole idea of making a will freaks people out. But come to think of it, not making a will when you’re over 50 is a pretty huge mistake. Leaving your final wishes unclear, whether it be about financial distribution or bequeathing valuable family treasures, can leave your family to quarrel over your assets, perhaps creating long-term family disruption.
Here are some solid reasons as to why every Manopause man over 50 must consider making a will.
What Is A Will?
A will is a legal document that protects assets like property, bank accounts or cash, and family heirlooms from indiscriminate distribution unintended by the deceased. In other words, a will lets you decide who gets what, and saves your heirs from spending a lot of money contesting ownership of your assets. It does not cover life insurance policies, retirement funds, or any financial plans that already have a designated beneficiary.
It Is Easier & Cheaper To Make A Will Than It Ever Was
Yes, that’s true! You can have your will prepared for $100-$200 thanks to online legal services like Legalzoom.com. All you have to do is visit these sites and answer a series of interview-like questions. It doesn’t take you more than half an hour to make your will unless your assets are very complicated. If they are, you might want to contact an attorney that specializes in wills.
Leave Your Assets Protected
A will is one of the most important documents every person should have, and since, statistically, women live longer than men, it becomes especially important for men over 50! You can’t just assume that a family member will step in after your death to take care of your assets. If you want to hand over that responsibility to someone like your wife, son, daughter, or grandchild, that needs to be outlined in your will. Otherwise, the state might just step in and make a blood relative you don’t approve of responsible for all the legal matters related to the distribution of your assets.
Spare Your Family From Worrying
Most men tend to make their spouses the responsible party in a will. But if there has been a divorce, and a new spouse or girlfriend, well, it can get pretty ugly! And making only one child responsible for settling the estate, without explicit instructions, can lead to unwanted rivalry between siblings. That’s the last thing you want to happen.
Thus, making a will and telling everyone in your family about it is the wisest thing to do. Having a will also helps if you want to give a portion of your assets to someone out of your immediate family or a non-blood relative. If you leave the state to deal with your assets, they will transfer everything in the name of your next of kin.
A will safeguards your last wishes. If you have a small business that you want to keep alive even after you pass away, then a will ensures that it continues to thrive even when you’re not around. Dealing with your property and assets in the right way just keeps your family from spending money on litigation trying to figure out what your true intentions were and who in your family has rights to what.
You worked hard your whole life to accumulate these assets. Don’t let them get wasted in court because you haven’t specified your wishes. Get a will and relax!