Who Needs a Will?
In short, everyone. Regardless of age, marital status or financial standing, all adults need a will to ensure proper distribution of the assets they have worked hard to accumulate.
Many young parents presume that in the event of their death, custody of surviving children will automatically be awarded to those family members the children feel most comfortable with – in most cases, the grandparents. However, in the absence of a will, a minor child’s future is in the hands of government officials who are not familiar with the family and who may award guardianship to family members you would not choose. Such a critical decision should not be left to chance. Through the simple act of establishing a will, you can choose a guardian who shares your philosophy on child rearing; one who will instill in your child the morals and values important to you. What’s more, a will enables you to establish a trust for your child’s future financial and educational needs. Protect them by establishing your will today.
Providing for your spouse is an important responsibility and, as such, should involve the protection of a will. A carefully planned will allows you to secure your spouse’s future without the burden of unnecessary financial worries. Inheritance for surviving loved ones is often reduced due to the expense of estate tax when no provisions are made through a will. Assets you have worked together to acquire may not be distributed as you wish without a will. A generous portion of your estate could be used to pay unnecessary taxes at the death of the second spouse and would not be available for children or others you had planned to benefit.
As a single person, you too have special needs making it necessary to have a will. If you have been left alone by the death of your spouse and have children, their needs must be considered. If you are a single person, you have worked hard to accumulate your estate without help from others. Therefore, it is increasingly important to ensure that the distribution of your estate will be made in accordance with your wishes. Under most intestacy laws, heirs are first your parents, then your brothers and sisters. Because you may wish to help others or make a significant charitable contribution to benefit organizations like Methodist Children’s Home, a will must be made. By utilizing charitable bequests, single individuals may leave legacies which will live far beyond their lifetime.
Helpful Resources as you Plan
Will Data Forms Planning Checklist
Important Steps in the Will Process
- Clarify your objectives. Determine exactly what you want to accomplish for yourself, your dependents, others and your favorite charities through your estate plan.
- Inventory your estate. Identify the resources you have in your estate which will allow you to accomplish your objectives.
- Choose an attorney. Legal documents should never be drawn up without the assistance of a qualified attorney. Choose one you have confidence in and make an appointment as soon as possible. The fee for drawing your will should be discussed at the outset.
- Update your will periodically. If you have a will that is outdated due to changes in the law, residence, family relationships or personal circumstances, or if you wish to remember organizations like Methodist Children’s Home not presently included in your will, note those changes on the Will Data Forms and take them to your attorney.
- Prepare to see your attorney. Before seeing your attorney, fill out the Will Data Forms.
- Take the completed Will Data Forms to your attorney. Ask your attorney to draw your will in proper form, according to the wishes you have identified.
- Destroy your old will. As soon as you have properly executed your new will, get rid of all copies of your old will.
- Keep your will in a safe place. Place your will where it cannot be accidentally burned or destroyed and where it will be available at your death.
- Consider leaving a lasting legacy. If you wish to remember Methodist Children’s Home or other charities in your will, you may want to inform the organization. This information is appreciated and will be kept confidential. MCH offers to assist its benefactors with step 8 by keeping their will on file.
- Contact Methodist Children’s Home. If you need further information on estate planning, please contact us at 800-853-1272 or fill out the contact form below and click submit.