Did you know almost two-thirds of Americans don’t have a will? A new survey found that 1 out of 3 people believe they have too few assets or not enough money to create a will. The truth is everyone needs a will, no matter how old they are or what their situation is.
Valley of the Sun United Way has partnered with FreeWill to help you plan your estate for free. The website walks you through all the steps and information needed in about 20 minutes or less! Once your will is created, all you have to do to is sign it in front of two witnesses and it’s completely legal in the state of Arizona.
Not having a will can be more stressful for your family after you’re gone. If you die and don’t have a legal will, all decisions about your estate will be left to your local court. They will appoint an administrator to oversee your estate. This means, you will have no say in how your property and other assets are divided.
When you do have a will ready, you will choose the person who will handle your estate and assets. This makes an already tough process, easier for your family and ensures everyone is taken care of.
If you have children under 18, you will be able to choose their legal guardian. This person will care for them, give them a place to live, make sure they’re enrolled in school and have everything they need to be happy, healthy and successful. If you don’t have a guardian chosen, the court chooses for you.
Many of us consider pets as a part of our family, but in the eyes of the law they are property. While you can’t leave any of your assets to your pet, you can name a beneficiary (a.k.a. guardian) for them. This person will care for your pet after you die. You can even leave them funds to help with veterinary costs, foods and toys.
Think about how many online profiles you currently have- Facebook, Instagram, Photo Clouds, Email, etc. When you create a will, you can name a digital executor. This person will be able to gain access to your accounts after you pass, and you can specify whether you would like your digital accounts to remain open.
When writing your will, you can choose to leave money or assets to a charity of your choice. This is often referred to as planned giving or legacy gifting. The FreeWill online tool allows you to leave a gift to your favorite charities with just a few clicks.
If you’re interested in naming Valley of the Sun United Way as a beneficiary in your will, please contact Lisa Groves, JD, Director of Major and Planned Gifts. As a former estate planning lawyer, Lisa understands the importance of writing a will, no matter your age or life circumstances.
Ready to get started? Create your free will or trust with FreeWill today.
*If you have a more complicated situation, like a large estate, difficult family dynamics, or need to provide for a special needs child, it could be a good idea to work with an estate attorney. They can help you create an estate plan that’s the best fit for you and the people and causes you love.