5 Reasons You Need a Will, Today

January 29, 2015


By JoAnn Turnquist


Planning is a big part of our lives.  We plan our days, our meals and our vacations.  We make plans for lunches, business meetings and birthday celebrations.  But, have we made plans for our future?  We plan our children’s lunches and their play dates but, have we made plans for their future?  Amazingly, only 44 percent of Americans have a will and even fewer people believe that is an important document to create.  In fact, studies show that women and young people (ages 18-34) are more likely to be concerned about maintaining their weight than protecting their financial assets.

If you haven’t thought about planning for the future, there is no better time than today to get started.  Here are five reasons planning your will should be on the top of your priority list:


    1. A will protects and provides for loved ones: Losing someone is incredibly difficult.  Creating a will keeps your loved ones from having to deal with bureaucracy in times of sadness and ensures they have a plan to follow.  When we remember that a will is not for us, but for the ones we love, it becomes easier to take the steps towards creating a lasting plan.
    2. A will allows you to decide who will receive and care for your assets: By creating a will, you can decide who will receive your belongings after you die.  If a will is not in place, generic rules set by our state (or the state you live in) determine who receives your assets and, they often don’t go to loved ones.  And, don’t forget your ‘living assets’.  Wills also help ensure your children will have a guardian that you trust and your pets will be cared for.
    3. A will can provide support for a favorite charity: Charitable gifts, earmarked for the nonprofits you support today, can be added to your will.  Doing this is a great way to maintain you legacy of giving and ensure that your assets are used for a good cause.
    4. A will can provide peace of mind: Having a will provides peace of mind for you and for your loved ones.  As you plan your will, discuss your decision with the key people who are involved – close family members and the person who you’ve chosen as administrator or executor for your will.  Helping them understand your final wishes will help avoid surprises.  The fewer surprises there are in the end, the easier it will be for everyone.
    5. A will is necessary because tomorrow is not promised: Many people avoid making a will because death seems so distant or a will seems unnecessary.  Unfortunately, the realization that wills are necessary may come too late. Make plans now to ensure that time does not surprise you.


Planning for the future may seem like a daunting task.  However, there are many resources available to help you.  The Community Foundation’s planned giving website includes a number of valuable tools to get you started, including a free Wills Planning Guide.  If you’d like to attend a will planning workshop, please join the Foundation team in February and March, when we join forces with three of our Agency fundholders to host Will University, free workshops where you can learn how to prepare a will.  Information about these workshops can be found on our website www.yourfoundation.org/willu.


I hope you’ll take time today to plan for tomorrow.






JoAnn M. Turnquist is the President & CEO of Central Carolina Community Foundation, a nonprofit organization that links charitable people and businesses with areas of need in the Midlands. To learn more about the Foundation and view more blog posts, visit yourfoundation.org.


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