Saturday, December 3, 2022

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Will-Making Can Reduce Stress, Cost for Loved Ones

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Tuesday, August 30, 2022   

August is National Make-a-Will Month, and if you still have not started, experts emphasized there is no good reason to put it off.

End-of-life planning can save loves ones stress, time, and money. Nearly 70% of Americans do not have a will, and even fewer have what is known as a "living will," which includes medical-care preferences if they're unable to speak for themselves.

Sam Young, senior director of legacy and planned giving for Compassion & Choices, said it can be easy to procrastinate, because people assume it is too expensive, too complicated, or just too tough to think about the fact they won't live forever.

"COVID has really made us more aware of this, you know," Young observed. "It's not just being terminally ill, or old; any of us can have a situation where we have to face that mortality."

He stressed estate planning is not just for wealthy people, one of the most common myths about wills.

Young pointed out you can consult an attorney to get started on your will, but he wanted people to know the website FreeWill.com is another option. It can help you create a document for free.

"It's a comprehensive resource that allows you to literally create a will. When you're done ... you can print it out," Young explained. "You have to get it notarized and witnessed, depending on the requirements."

Young added Compassion & Choices provides online guides for dementia directives, power of attorney, and other end-of-life-related services.

"We are here to help them get started, complete it, and be a resource for them in all aspects of whatever is helpful for the last chapter," Young stated.

It is important to find out your state's requirements for valid wills. Research has found at the height of the pandemic, many states' legal systems were not equipped to address the uptick in self-made wills.

Disclosure: Compassion & Choices contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement, Health Issues, Senior Issues, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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