The Importance of Having a Will

from on 27 Jun 2009

Estate planners tell us that nearly 70% of Americans die without a will. Folks, this is dumb – really dumb. If you hate the people in your life, die without a will, because you're going to tie them up for years.

A will is a gift you leave your family or loved ones. It is a gift because it makes the management of your estate very clear and light-years easier. If you don't have a will, the state (not known for its financial prowess) will decide what happens to your stuff, your kids, and your financial legacy. You don't want this to happen. Even if you're single, get a will right now!

The Legacy Drawer

Making a will is one of the best things I've done for my wife, Sharon. We have what is called my Legacy Drawer. It is a file drawer in our study that has everything one of us would need if something happened to the other one. It has letters of instruction on everything in there: a full will, a full estate plan, all of our investments, copies of insurance information, etc. A 12-year-old could read through it all and know exactly where things are and what everything is. Learn how to set this up in

How to Get a Will

The easiest and most cost-effective way to go about making a will nowadays is to use one of the online legal services. I recommend, which offers state-specific wills created by professional attorneys for public use. All you need to do is fill in your information, and the will is tailored for you.

You can also contact a good estate attorney; however, that will cost a bit more money. Typically, with your attorney, you can create mirror-image wills. That way, if one of you dies, the surviving spouse will get the entire estate. Everything is pretty much the same in both wills, with the exception of simply switching the names – hence mirror-image will. That is what Sharon and I have.

Also, after someone has died, 98% of the time I recommend that the survivors keep the will and all related papers for seven years. But double check with an estate attorney.

This is something we all need to be doing. You are going to die, so go out in style, and die with a will in place.

Need a will? Get a will today with

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