Hello, Super Moms! We all know there’s no greater joy than providing for our families and seeing them thrive. But have you ever considered what might happen if you weren’t around to take care of them?
It’s a thought we’d rather avoid, but it’s an essential aspect of financial planning that needs our attention. It’s time to talk about the importance of creating a will for your family’s financial future.
Wills: A Love Letter to Your Family
Think of a will as a love letter to your family. It’s your chance to leave clear instructions about how your assets should be distributed after your passing. It’s about taking control today to ensure your loved ones are well-cared for tomorrow. It’s about peace of mind, knowing that whatever happens, our families will be financially secure.
We know thinking about death can be a little unsettling — Chauncey Crail and Jane Haskins of Forbes Advisor both acknowledge that: “Writing a will can be uncomfortable, requiring you to reflect closely and clinically upon your own mortality and the value of your possessions after you’re gone.” But we promise that it’s worth doing.
The Power of a Will
Moms, you’re already superheroes in your children’s eyes. You have the power to heal boo-boos with a single kiss, make monsters disappear with a sweep of a broom, and spin stories that fuel their dreams.
But did you know you have another superpower waiting to be unleashed? It’s the power of a will, a legal document that does more than just distribute considerable assets. It’s your voice echoing into the future, ensuring your family is well-cared for, come what may.
The Many Capes of Your Will
A will is not a one-trick pony. It’s a multi-faceted tool that, like a superhero, takes on different roles depending on the situation. Let’s dive deeper into these roles:
1. Protector of Your Children
As a mom, nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of your children. With a will, you can nominate a guardian for your minor children. This person will step into your shoes if you’re unable to be there, providing the love and care your children deserve.
It’s about peace of mind, knowing your children will be raised by someone who shares your values and parenting philosophy.
2. Guardian of Harmony
Families are a beautiful blend of personalities, but this diversity can sometimes lead to disagreements, especially when it comes to matters of inheritance. A will allows you to clearly outline who gets what, preventing potential conflicts and ensuring a peaceful transition. It keeps your assets safe. Lisa Smith of Investopedia states, “You can keep your assets out of the hands of people you don’t want to have them (like an estranged relative).”
3. Defender of Your Business
If you’ve worked hard to build a business, a will can protect it. You can specify how your business should be managed or who it should go to, ensuring your legacy continues and your hard work doesn’t go to waste.
4. Champion of Causes
Is there a cause close to your heart? A charity that aligns with your values? With a will, you can leave a legacy that goes beyond your immediate family. You can allocate a portion of your assets to a charity or cause, making a lasting impact and inspiring your children to do the same.
The Invisible Cape: No Will, Big Problems
Estates mostly have to go in to probate court. But without this invisible cape and the probate process, things can get complicated. If you haven’t specified your wishes in a will, the state steps in and makes decisions on your behalf.
And let’s face it, no one knows your family better than you do.
You don’t want a stranger deciding who gets your grandmother’s heirloom necklace or who should raise your children. Plus, the process can be long and stressful, adding unnecessary strain to an already difficult time for your family.
Taking the First Step
Taking the first step can sometimes be the hardest. But remember, moms, you’re already superheroes! You make tough decisions every day for the sake of your family’s happiness and well-being. This is just another one of those decisions, a significant one that will leave a lasting impact. So let’s embrace this power, this superpower of decision-making, and take the first step towards creating a secure future for our families.
The Magic of Action
Once you’ve made the decision, it’s time to put your superhero cape on and dive into action. Remember, it’s not just about thinking or planning; it’s about doing. Your actions today will weave the safety net that your family might need tomorrow. So let’s get started!
Gathering Your Strengths: Understanding Your Assets
Before you can distribute your assets, you need to understand what they are. Start by making a list of everything you own. From your home and vehicles to your jewelry and personal items, include everything. And don’t forget any life insurance, investments, savings, closing bank accounts, or retirement funds you have. Digital assets (and any other assets) fall into this category as well.
This list is a tangible representation of your hard work and love for your family – it’s your strength, your superpower. Estate taxes (or inheritance tax) will also depend on these.
Assembling Your Team: Choosing Your Allies
Every superhero needs a team. In your case, it might be a lawyer or a trusted friend or family member who understands your wishes and can provide guidance. They’ll help you navigate through the legalities and ensure your will reflects your wishes accurately.
- Decide on beneficiaries: Who do you want to inherit your assets? This can include family, friends, and charities.
- Choose an executor: This person, personal representative, or legal counsel will carry out the terms of your will.
- Nominate guardians for your children: Consider who you would trust to raise your children if you’re unable to. It could be family members or even non-relatives.
- Consult with a professional: An estate planning attorney or financial advisor can guide you through the process and ensure your will is legally valid.
Crafting Your Legacy: Writing Your Will
Now comes the exciting part, writing your will. This document is more than just legal jargon; it’s your legacy, your voice reaching out to the future. It’s an opportunity to express your love for your family, your hopes for their future, and your dreams for your legacy. Settling financial affairs early can also prevent family disputes. So take your time, think it through, and make your will a testament of your love.
Sealing Your Promise: Finalizing Your Will
Once you’re satisfied with your will, it’s time to finalize it. Make sure it’s legally binding by getting it witnessed and signed. This is the final seal to have a valid will, the promise that your superpower will be there to protect your loved ones when you can’t.
Your Family’s Financial Future Starts Now
Moms, you’re already superheroes in your family’s eyes. By creating a will, you’re adding another superpower to your arsenal: the power to secure your family’s financial future. Having an existing will is a proactive, positive step towards abundance and peace of mind. It’s a testament to your love and care for your family. Creating a will is essential to managing your estate: James C. Skeels, Ph.D. of Ohio State University states that, “A will is the basis of an estate plan, and often the most important estate planning tool. Every person 18 or older should have a will so that he or she can decide who gets his or her property, rather than the state deciding.”
Don’t wait for “someday.” Start the conversation today. Your family’s financial security is too important to leave to chance. Remember, you’re not alone in this journey. Reach out to professionals, join supportive communities, and empower yourself with knowledge. You’ve got this, Mom!
Take Action Today
As moms, we’re all about action. So here’s your call to action: Start the process of creating your will today. It’s one of the most loving, responsible things you can do for your family. And remember, you’re not just planning for the worst-case scenario; you’re actively creating a brighter, more secure future for those you love the most.
Remember, our families are our wealth, and their happiness and security are our ultimate goals. Let’s continue to build a legacy of love, abundance, and financial security for them. Let’s continue to be the superheroes they know we are!