Procrastination could harm your family and friends in the future.

Every Massachusetts resident should have an up-to-date last will and testament. You may already know that a will helps distribute a person’s assets after he or she passes away, but it also plays other vital roles. For instance, a will may identify suitable caregivers for your children or pets.

Unfortunately, many individuals wait too long to prepare their wills. Only nine out of every 20 Americans have drafted this crucial document, according to a 2016 Gallup poll. If you don’t possess a will, please consider these compelling reasons to create it:

1. Life is Uncertain – Numerous people pass away unexpectedly as a result of accidents, crime and natural disasters. Injuries kill almost 200,000 Americans in a typical year. About 17 percent of these deaths occur due to car crashes.

2. Not Having a Will Can Be Detrimental – Family members face more legal complexities when relatives die without wills. They must also wait much longer to take ownership of the remaining assets. The lack of a will might delay access to life insurance funds as well.

3. Prevent Family Feuds – If you don’t tell anyone how to distribute your belongings, relatives may squabble over them. Arguments could turn into long-lasting disputes that seriously harm the relationships between your extended family members. This might affect how people remember you.

4. Avoid Financial Pitfalls – A will gives you the ability to choose an executor; this person manages your finances after you pass away. For example, he or she may need to complete the tax paperwork for your final year of income. An executor ought to be highly responsible and knowledgeable about money.

5. Ensure Your Kids Are Cared For – If you have kids, a last will and testament gives you the ability to pick an appropriate guardian. The court selects the child’s caregiver when parents pass away without creating wills. This decision can have a tremendous impact on your kids’ future.

6. Ensure Your Pets Are Cared For – You can also use a will to specify ideal caregivers for pets. It costs a substantial amount of money to provide meals and veterinary care for most animals. Consequently, some people also set aside cash for the individuals who take ownership of their pets.

7. Even Your Social Media Can Be Managed – If you maintain a personal website or social networking profile, a will can tell family members how to handle it. You might ask them to post a notice about your death, remove certain information or simply close the account.

8. Distribute Your Inheritance – Wills make it possible to supply distant relatives, friends and nonprofit organizations with inheritance assets. They’ll receive nothing if a court distributes your property. Your estate would have to be distributed based upon statutory formulas, not your wishes.

A valid will has several specific requirements. McLane & McLane can prepare a last will and testament that meets these requirements and clearly defines your wishes. To get started, contact our law office in Agawam, MA.

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