Creating a Will for You and Those You Care About
Do you have a will? More than half of adult Americans do not, according to a recent study by Harris Interactive. And yet a simple will can ensure that the assets that you have worked hard for benefit the people and the causes closest to your heart.
A will is your instruction manual to survivors about how you want your assets distributed. It is a revocable, private document that only takes effect after your death. Creating a will is easy, but it does take a bit of time to organize your information and set your priorities. For example, you will want to gather information for all of your accounts, list specific assets such as a house, car, or artwork, and choose guardians if you live with children or animals.
Many of us may think we haven’t accumulated enough wealth to leave a legacy or to warrant the expense of creating a will, but you will be surprised when you take the time to list life insurance, retirement accounts, jewelry, and other things that you have worked for during your lifetime. Wills ensure that you direct who or what organization is the beneficiary of these assets.
You’ll also want to hire an attorney who is experienced in estate planning and can help guide you through the process and make sure that your will meets state regulations. Ask friends and colleagues for referrals, and call for an initial consultation to find someone with whom you are comfortable. Ask about fees in advance, and tell your lawyer what you wish to accomplish in drafting your will.
After you sign your will, you should keep it in a safe, easily accessible place. Be sure that the person whom you have appointed as your executor knows exactly where you stored your will. And remember, a will can be changed and it is a good idea to review your will every five years so you can take into account life events that may have an impact on how you want to distribute your assets.
Ready to get started? Taking the first step is the key to creating peace of mind and providing for those you care so much about. Our development team can provide more information on how to create a will—you can reach us at 202-527-7366. You can also learn more online and find planning steps at PCRM.org/Bequests.
A Sublime Send-Off
For years, Nanci Alexander has hosted a fundraising event for PCRM at her world-class Sublime restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the evening before the Holistic Holiday at Sea cruise heads out for a week of healthy bliss. This high-energy evening brings people together and promotes PCRM’s message.
This year’s event held on March 2 was the biggest and best yet—guests arrived from all corners of the country and from as far away as Japan! PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D., and PCRM’s chief medical officer Ulka Agarwal, M.D., delivered the latest news on PCRM’s work, and the party spilled over and packed the restaurant throughout the night as people dined on Sublime’s delicious vegan cuisine. Our deepest appreciation goes to Nanci Alexander, the outstanding restaurant staff, and Sandy Pukel of Holistic Holiday at Sea for making the sold-out event another smashing success.