Chuck Worley is like a lot of us. He knew he needed a will, but felt it was going to be a hassle and didn’t know where to start….so he never did.
Then, he and his wife went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. One of the aspects of that approach to personal finance is having a legacy envelope or drawer.
“We knew we needed to put a will in that drawer and we were finally ready to do it.”
Two years ago, Chuck and his wife finally got out of debt. Parents to a set of teenage twins and an 11 year-old, the Worleys knew making a will was a smart move. On a roll with getting their financial house in order, they were ready to make their will.
“We did a little research locally, but ultimately landed on Mama Bear Legal Forms because they were endorsed by Dave Ramsey, who we trust,” Chuck says. “Being able to do it online was also a huge plus.”
Once Chuck began the online will creation process, he was impressed by how fast it moved.
“I liked that the very first thing we walked through on the website was a questionnaire about whether or not our scenario was appropriate for an online will. We followed the prompts, answered the questions and saw that we were a great candidate for making an online will.”
The whole process took the Worleys less than an hour.
Time and a lack of knowledge of the process are two top reasons people procrastinate on making a will. To that, Chuck has a piece of simple advice: “If I can do it, anyone can.”
Describing the process as ‘dummy-proof,’ Chuck says you don’t have to be a legal expert. “You don’t have to understand all the terms and legal jargon. Definitions of terms are built into the website. My advice would be not to be intimidated. Don’t put it off.”
Avoiding probate is an important reason not to delay making a will, and something Chuck came face to face with personally.
“When someone dies without a will, there’s so much left unknown. I have seen that happen and it can be frustrating. Taking care of our kids was the biggest factor that motivated us to finally get our will done.
“To know you’re making a decision that hopefully you never have to act on but have in place to help protection your children, is huge. You want to provide financially for your family and avoid discrepancies and confusion if the worst happens. Knowing things are spelled out, brings clarity and peace of mind.”
When Chuck completed the process and printed out his forms, he took them to a local UPS store to be notarized – an important step people sometimes overlook.
He was pleasantly surprised to have healthcare and financial power of attorney forms automatically generated from his will inputs as well.
“It was a good surprise and a comfort in having those forms as well. I can’t say enough about the convenience, ease of use and simplicity. From cradle to grave, in one day, in less than an hour, we had the whole process done.
“I woke up one morning and by the end of the day, had a full will and POAs done.”
Common Questions People Ask About Wills
Chuck’s story may have raised questions about making a will. As we did with Kyle’s story, here we answer some of the questions we are often asked about wills.
Won’t my kids just go to my closest family if I die?
You might know exactly who you’d want to care for your children and assume they’d go to those individuals, but in the absence of a will, a court decides what happens to your children.
Anyone with minor children needs a will, because it ensures that your children go to the legal guardian you designate, should you die before your children are adults.
If you have older parents who aren’t able to care for young children, or family living in other states, who will your children go to?
Unless you make a will, you are leaving it up to the courts to decide.
What happens when you die without a will?
When you die without a will, you are intestate. This means your estate moves into a state of intestacy.
This means your money, children, home, pets, heirlooms and more are left to the care of the state.
After you pass without a will, the state names a personal representative – someone who will distribute your assets.
Absent a will, you have no say in who this responsibility falls to. The state could name an ex-spouse, parent, or other family member who wouldn’t be your first choice.
If no one is willing to be your personal representative, the courts could choose a total stranger.
Your estate enters a process called probate. Your money and other assets are frozen until the courts decide who will distribute them. This means no one can access your things, even if you gave them permission to do so on your deathbed.
I made a will ten years ago. Is that good enough?
The simple answer is no.
Life changes. Your will should change with it. If you’re like many people, you may have created a will when your children were little.
Fifteen years later, they’re off to college and your will is still back in kindergarten.
Think of your will like a house. If you bought a house 15 years ago and haven’t remodeled anything over that span, you may have a few projects you want to get going.
Your wishes for your kitchen or bathrooms may be different than they were when you bought the home.
People you designated to care for your children may no longer be in a position to do so.
Or, your children may no longer be minors. Your assets may have grown or changed substantially.
You may have heirlooms and property you want to designate for heirs that you didn’t fifteen years ago.
There is a real need to keep your will updated. What keeps people from doing so is the same thing that keeps people from creating a will in the first place – time, hassle and money.
Thankfully, updating a will with Mama Bear Legal Forms is as easy as creating one. You just plug in your information and we do the rest for you.
Get Your Will Package Today
Creating or updating your will doesn’t take long or cost much. You can do it quickly from the comfort of your own home at a time that is convenient for you.
Mama Bear Legal Forms provides law firm quality, state-specific documents that are easy to create, simple to download and cost just $129.
All three of the forms we offer in our Will Package are legally valid in all states and include guidance on how to complete them.