• January 22, 2024
  • Posted by General Electric Credit Union
  • 3 read

Wills Are Important, But Do You Really Know Why?

You’ve likely heard how important wills are, but do you really know why? If you’re one of the two out of three Americans with no estate planning documents,1 it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the benefits of creating a will.  Understanding their importance may spur you into action to protect your family and estate in the future. An estate planning attorney can offer the guidance you need to put your wishes into writing.

Reasons to have a will 

They ensure your wishes are followed

You can name an executor within a will. The executor of an estate is tasked with fulfilling your last wishes and managing the affairs of your estate during probate. This is a big responsibility for someone to take on. Choosing someone you trust and who has the time and knowledge to complete their duties will give you peace of mind.

They protect loved ones

In the event you don’t have a surviving spouse or partner, it’s important to think about who would assume guardianship over your minor children or dependents. This is a difficult decision, but making it helps your loved ones and dependents avoid unnecessary turbulence after your death. Put the plan in writing and loop in responsible parties.  

If you have a common-law partner, your assets will legally pass to next of kin upon your passing – not to your partner. You can remedy this by creating a will and directing the transfer of assets to those of your choosing, including a common-law partner.  

The role of frank discussions with loved ones

Do you want a traditional funeral service? Would you want a pet to go to a family member if you were unable to care for them? All of this is to really ask: Does your family know what you’d want if you passed away? If the answer is no or a vague ‘maybe,’ have a conversation with loved ones to fill this gap in knowledge. 
It’s also always smart to pre-plan, and pre-pay, for funeral and burial. Keep the prepaid funeral and burial documentation and receipts nearby other important legal papers so they’re easily located by family when the time comes. This will allow them to focus their energy on being there for one another during a difficult time.  

Did you know General Electric Credit Union (GECU) members get a complimentary legal consultation with an attorney through Wood + Lamping LLP?* Take advantage of this amazing benefit so you can get the ball rolling on your will.

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