If There’s A Will, There’s A…

Photo Credit: SalFalko via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: SalFalko via Compfight cc

Piece of mind.

Three and a half years later and Mrs. PFG and I finally signed our wills.

We had set out to do them when PFG boy was a couple of months old.  We even had a draft sent to us in late 2010… which was just gaining dust in our storage unit.  For some reason we just pushed it to the back of our minds.  As we look back now, we think there are many reasons we didn’t sign it or why other young adults don’t have wills.

We’re Young
As teenagers and young adults we think we are invincible.  That we are going to live forever and nothing bad is going to happen to us.  So why would we need a will?

In thinking back, these were some of the thoughts that crossed my mind:

  • “Nothing will happen to us because I am healthy and go to the doctor on a regular basis.”
  • “Accidents happen, but they won’t happen to me.”
  • “I am too young to worry about dying.”

But we aren’t invincible.  Accidents do happen to people our own age.  Illnesses do not discriminate based on your age.  What brought this even closer for me was hearing about a young man who had five kids who died from a brain tumor that he was diagnosed with three months before he died.  This 35 year old was an athlete who took care of his health but still was stricken by an incurable disease.

We Don’t Have Any Large Assets
Initially, when we set out to do our will after PFG boy was born, we laughed at the idea of setting up a will because “we didn’t have anything to leave him.”  Why would we need to set up a will that said where our possessions went when we didn’t have anything of value.  As young adults, this is a common misconception.  A will doesn’t just lay out who gets what but it also lays out how your children will be cared for and who can make decisions for your estate.

As a young parent with two kids, I needed to make sure that my children were going to be raised by people who would raise them the way Mrs. PFG and I would.  So yes, we do not have a lot of “property” or “possessions” in our will right now but our most valuable assets are our kids and we wanted to make sure they were covered.

We Don’t Want to Start Fights
One of the biggest decisions we had to make was where PFG boy and PFG girl would go if both Mrs. PFG and I died.  We talked about the different possibilities for who would be good guardians but we also wanted to be careful because we didn’t want to upset other people.  Would our relatives understand if we picked someone else?  Would they be offended if they weren’t in charge of our estate?

At the end of the day, when we decided to become parents, it was our responsibility to discuss potential guardians and by signing our wills, we are protecting our children and estate to ensure they have what they need.

We Don’t Want to Make Tough Decisions
In addition to a will, many times you will also sign documents that state how long you want to be kept alive by machines and via feeding tubes.  As young adults these are not topics that we wanted to think about.

Why would we want to think about death?  Why would we want to make a decision now when that might change if the situation really happened?

But looking back at what we signed, why would we want to leave these decisions to our family members, the doctors, or in some cases the “laws” of the state.  In recent news, there was a fight between a hospital and a man whose woman who was on life support with their unborn child.  The hospital wanted to keep the woman on life support (even though she was declared brain dead) until the birth of the child.

By signing these documents, we have taken the steps to ensure that none of our loved ones have to be put into a similar situation.  Were they easy decisions?  No.  Did we really know what we were signing initially? No, but with the help of our attorney, he laid out the scenarios and what the majority of his clients choose to do.  This made us feel more comfortable with our decisions.

Piece of Mind
As two young parents, knowing that we finally signed our wills allows us to know that our children are protected.  We also don’t have to worry about “in case of” scenarios regarding potential surgeries or accidents.  We now are protected by these documents and have made decisions that are greatly impacted by our lives.  It is also good for us to know that while this document is permanent if anything was to happen to us, that we can update the documents at any time.  What is written in there today could be changed as we grow older and obtain more possessions.

If you are young parents, we would greatly recommend signing a will for the piece of mind that your kids will be protected.  Additionally, even if you are a single or married young adult, you should look at having a will.  This document can help protect your estate and help alleviate some of the tough decisions your loved ones might have to make.

Do you have a will?  How was the process of getting one written and signed?  What might be holding you back?

 

 

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