WHO SHOULD MAKE A WILL AND WHY DON’T THEY?
What happens when a person dies without a Will? Contrary to popular misconception, their assets do NOT “go to the State”. Their assets go to “family members” under the State’s laws of intestacy. So, the question any sane person with assets should be asking is “Who would inherit from me if I don’t make a Will”.
If the answer to that question is not what the person would want, THEY SHOULD MAKE A WILL.
Which leads to the question….WHY DON’T THEY???
WHY….do people who have no close family, and who think their distant relatives “don’t care about them”, frequently neglect to make a will, die with a lot of money, so these same distant relatives inherit their money?
WHY…..when people who have “nobody to leave my money to”, why don’t they make bequests to friends? or charities?
WHY…..do some people put off doing something they know they SHOULD do?
Here are 10 reasons I’ve seen:
- Procrastination as a way of life.
- Fear of tempting the evil eye.
- Not being able to decide who should inherit (or waiting to see who deserves it.)
- Not wanting to spend ANY money to take care of this “discretionary” item.
- Not wanting to discuss their personal business and/or finances with anyone.
- Thinking they’ll do it later, “when they need to”.
- Under valuing their assets…this usually happens when there is a house and no liquidity.
- Thinking they have all their assets passing directly, so a Will would be moot. Sometimes this is true, but usually not.
- Guilt related to what departed persons (parents or grandparents) would think about what they want to do.
- Simply being a selfish, self-centered narcissist who doesn’t care what happens when they are gone.
One could probably write a book, or at least a blog post, about each of these. I will not do that here. I will simply note that each of these reasons raise questions that anyone who has ANY of those thought patterns ought to consider,along with my initial question “Who would inherit from me if I don’t make a Will” AND “How would that result sit with me for eternity IF I DIED TOMORROW”?
Eternity is a long time.