This is a first time submission on the topic of “What are the benefits of having a will” written and submitted by Leydis Gomez, Juris Doctor Program at St. Thomas University School of Law.  Thank you so much for your refreshing essay.  We present Leydis’ essay here as an honorable mention.


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What are the benefits of having a will?

No one wants to plan for the uncertainties of life or for a time when they will no longer be around. Yet, planning for the inevitable and having your last and final wishes executed will provide you with peace of mind. Dealing with the loss of a loved one is not an easy task, but having a will makes it easier on family and friends to make decisions on miniscule decisions such as what color flowers you want in your funeral. Having a will executed will allow you to make every decision you could think of ahead of time, form specifying what burial arrangements you would like to who should care for your cat once you are gone.

There are many different scenarios, which a will helps avoid. For example, if one has child or loved one they take care of, stating in your will who should be the guardian of that child and what funds will be allocated to that child will make the process easier. Knowing your child or loved one will be financially taken care of will ensure their basic needs are met. Furthermore, a testamentary trust will allow your property to be held for the child’s benefit until they reach the age of majority.

Having someone you can trust is very difficult especially when you are no longer present to state your beliefs. Choosing an executor in advance to be named in your will allows all decisions to be carried out effectively. Even though you are no longer around, you will have complete control over the situation instead of leaving it to a judge to appoint someone to administer your estate. This court appointed person could ultimately be someone you have had disagreements with or just simply do not want to be administering your estate.

While life can ever be so changing, a will does not have to stay the same and can change with you. A person is capable of amending their will through codicils and change any provisions they feel is necessary to reflect their current wishes and desires. On the other hand, if you change your mind regarding the entire will you can easily revoke it and start from scratch all over again.

Finally, it is a mistaken belief that wills are expensive. When looking at all the positive outcomes and decisions that can be made ahead of time, such a small investment can lead to a stress free afterlife. This is why it is important to visit an attorney with experience that will provide you with the adequate services you need and the respect you require in this matter.