Roses are red, violets are blue, when I die, I’m leaving my estate to you.
Estate planning and talking about death can feel scary and overwhelming sometimes. But it doesn’t have to be! In fact, making your will and POA documents is one of the best ways to show someone you love them.
Here are 3 ways you can tell someone you love them with a will:
1. You Have A Piece Of My Heart (and Estate)
Whether you leave behind money, property, or sentimental items, your beneficiaries receive a piece of your legacy after you’re gone.
Regardless if your estate is big or small, you’ve worked hard to acquire anything you own. By naming beneficiaries in your will, you get to control who gets your belongings after you’ve passed away.
You can leave specific gifts to a love-one. For example, leaving your vintage card collection to your card-loving nephew or an heirloom to your child.
You can also make someone a beneficiary of your residual estate — meaning they’ll receive a portion of (or all of) your assets after specific gifts are distributed.
Making someone a beneficiary of your estate is one of the best ways to celebrate a relationship you had with a loved-one.
2. Will You Be My Executor?
The question you’ve been waiting for all your life.
An executor is one of the most important roles you’ll appoint in your will. They will be responsible for executing your wishes and making important decisions when you pass away.
Appointing someone to be your executor is like telling them “Hey, I love and trust you so much, I’m trusting you to carry out all my final wishes.”
That being said, being the executor of a will is time consuming and a big responsibility. Make sure you speak to your executor before you put it in your will! (Not everyone is comfortable with being an executor, so your first choice may be unable to accept the role. We promise this doesn’t mean they love you any less!)
3. When I Die, I Want To Take Care Of You
Making a will is one of the best ways to ensure your loved-ones are taken care of when you pass away. Not only does making a will help outline your wishes, it can make the process after you die much simpler and less stressful.
Just like you can show your love in many different ways, you can also take care of your loved ones through your will in several different ways.
Choosing a guardian for your minor children or pets:
One of the top reasons for creating a will, is the birth of a child. By making a will you can designate a guardian and custodian, so you can ensure your minor children go to the care of a responsible adult in the event you are unable to.
Don’t forget that your pets will need guardians as well! Make sure to choose a guardian for your furry family members when finishing your will.
Leaving gifts for your loved-ones
Gifts are a great way to show someone you care! However, choosing beneficiaries and leaving gifts in your will isn’t just about giving things. Sometimes the assets you leave for your loved-ones can be a way to take care of them after you pass away.
Not only does designating beneficiaries help your assets go to the right people, you’re also taking care of your family by making these decisions ahead of time. Dividing up your assets can help reduce conflict and additional stress for your loved-ones.
You can even leave a gift for a charity in your will. This is called a legacy gift. Legacy giving is a great way to show some love to the causes you care about, even after you’re gone.
4. You’re the POA For Me
While power of attorney documents are technically separate from a will, they’re still important parts of your estate plan. Similar to an executor, your attorney will typically also be a loved-one.
An attorney will make decisions (that you have already outlined in your documents) about your property, finances, personal life, and medical care, if in the event of an emergency if you are unable to do so yourself. This should be someone you trust with your (financial and medical) life.
Plus, when you make your POA you can also outline your wishes for medical and end-of-life care. This will help relieve your family members of the burden of having to make the choice for you.
This Valentine’s Day (and Family Day), show your love by making your will.