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Author: John Malone
Educators are part of the 70 percent of American adults who neglect the important task of writing a will before retirement. The problem is that most people imagine that writing a will is something only the rich have to worry about. Unfortunately, this is a severely mistaken view for two major reasons. First, a will is about much more than dividing your vast estate among your chosen heirs. Second, even the very rich in the United States often neglect writing their wills. For example, musician Prince died without a clear will directing how his nearly $300 million estate would be divided among his heirs.
As an educator, your greatest priority financially is to retire and begin to enjoy your nest egg. However, you should consider writing a will long before retirement day. It isn’t an especially difficult process, and there are plenty of places online where you can learn how to write a will. However, if you still need convincing, here are three reasons why you need to prepare your will sooner rather than later.
1. You Don’t Know What the Future Holds
We all like to think tomorrow will be just like today and life will go on like it always has. However, this isn’t always the case, and things have a way of drastically changing when we least expect it. We would all like to be able to live out our lives to the fullest and see retirement. However, we can’t always be sure of this, and being caught unaware by death can ruin even the best-laid plans. That’s why it is important to ensure you are prepared for any eventuality. The not only ensures any property you have is shared out according to your wishes, but it will also gives you the opportunity to appoint a guardian for any dependents you might have.
2. You Need to Appoint a Guardian for Your Children
If both you and your spouse die, or if you are a single parent and die and leave behind children age 18 or younger or any other dependents, a will allows you to choose who gets to take care of them. You can appoint a guardian who you trust to do the job well. You can also appoint an administrator for any property you leave behind for your children to manage it for them until they attain legal adulthood. If you don’t name these people in a will, they will be appointed by the state, which means your children might end up in the wrong hands.
3. Ensure the Financial Future of Your Loved Ones
A will allows you to divide your property in the proportions you want among your heirs. You get to decide who gets what and how much of it. In the absence of a will, the state will divvy up your property among the legal heirs. Our spouse and children might end up getting way less than they deserve this way and their financial future may be bleak. Therefore, it is important to prepare a will before you die to ensure they are well taken care of.