As we approach the New Year, many of us are fast forwarding into setting new goals for 2021. However, there’s still several weeks left in 2020 — the perfect time to wrap up some important to-do’s from this year that still may be on your list.
Whether or not estate planning is on your to-do list, here are 6 reasons why you should tackle making will before the New Year!
1. You Can Discuss Your End-Of-Life Wishes With Family During The Holidays
Making your wishes official in a legally-binding will is a crucial part of estate planning, but it’s just as important to make your wishes known to your loved-ones. Even if the holidays look a bit different this year, you’re likely gathering (if virtually) with your family and friends, which makes it a great time to have these discussions.
When you make your will, you’ll need to appoint an executor and a guardian for any minor children — both of which are large responsibilities. It’s best to discuss this ahead of time with the chosen individuals so you can appoint someone else if they are unable to take on the roles. End-of-life conversations are equally important if you expect to be an executor for a loved-one, such as a parent, in the future!
To help you get started, we rounded up our Top 10 Tips For Talking About Death And Estate Planning This Holiday Season.
2. You’ll Begin 2021 With Peace Of Mind
They say you should start a new year with a clean slate, but we also believe you should begin it with peace of mind. Your last will and testament is a legal document that outlines how you wish to distribute your assets such as property, money, or care of minor children after you die. Having a legal will guarantees that if you were to pass away unexpectedly, your wishes would be carried out.
Not only does creating a will offer peace of mind that your loved-ones are taken care of, but you’ll feel better knowing you’ve reduced the future stress on loved ones by minimizing the chances of any arguments that may arise.
3. You Can Start The New Year With More Exciting Resolutions
We all know how our resolutions went last year… by that we mean that most of your resolutions probably went out the window by around say, March? 2020 was extremely unpredictable and most of us are looking forward to a fresh start in the New Year. Finishing your will in the coming weeks will leave space on your 2021 list for more exciting resolutions (or even resolutions that just didn’t come to fruition this year).
By knocking estate planning off your to-do list this year, you’ll not only be able to commit to more 2021 resolutions, but you’ll be able to dedicate more time and energy to accomplishing those new goals. Perhaps 2021 finally the year you’ll make it to the (at-home) gym or start that business!
4. Friends And Family Time Makes It Easier To Get Your Documents Witnessed
In order for your will to be legally-valid, you’ll need two witnesses to sign your document. While it can be difficult to carve out time with friends and family during the year, you’ll naturally be spending more time with loved-ones over the holidays, which makes it a great time to gather witnesses to sign your will. Just remember that your witnesses cannot sign
If you’re unable to gather in person due to pandemic restrictions, you may be able to get your documents witnessed virtually depending on your province of residence. Here are our tips for finishing your will during COVID.
5. Get In The Holiday Giving Spirit
From volunteering our time to leaving donations, many of us find ways to get in the giving spirit during the holiday season. Another great way to do this is through leaving a legacy gift in your will. Not only are many organizations supported by legacy giving, but it allows you to pay it forward to help those who need it most. There are many ways to leave a legacy gift, whether it be a piece of property, cash, or a percentage of your estate
Legacy giving is an easy way to make a lasting impact. For many individuals, it also allows you to leave a gift larger than otherwise possible.
6. You Just Won’t Need To Worry About It Anymore
While we know how important estate planning is, we totally understand it isn’t the most fun activity — so why drag it into the new year? There’s nothing worse than walking around with a feeling of “I know there’s something I should do, but I’ll just get to it later.” Procrastination can be a dark cloud hanging over your head, making it difficult to fully enjoy the present moment knowing you have unfinished business. Start 2021 fresh and leave that to-do in 2020.
Don’t forget that your will isn’t one-and-done though! Just because you’ve finished your will this year, doesn’t mean you should leave it in 2020. As your life changes, you’ll need to keep your will up to date to make sure it reflects your current wishes. Fortunately, Willful’s plans include unlimited changes, so you can come back and make easy, stress-free updates.