Have you written a will? Why it’s important to have your personal financial paperwork in order

Have you written a will? Why it’s important to have your personal financial paperwork in order

DETROIT – As 2020 comes to an end, it’s important to have your personal financial paperwork in order. Most people don’t.

It’s estimated that only about one-third of Americans have a will prepared. Most don’t believe they even need one. If you die without a will, it’s called dying intestate.

READ: Importance of writing a will: How much work and trouble do you want to leave behind?

The Dollar Stretcher editor and founder Gary Foreman said the consequences are as bad as the name suggests. Certified financial planner and Planning Alternatives CEO Nathan Mersereau agrees the consequences get very expensive.

“If you don’t have it in writing, the state has a plan for you already. So, I like to say everyone has a plan but make sure it’s one you choose and that directs your assets in a way you want them to go,” Mersereau said.

You don’t need an attorney to draw up a will, but it is a good idea. There are two other legal documents you should get called advance directives. The first is called a medical power of attorney. Then there is the financial power of attorney.

“Power of attorney is really important because if you were to lose capacity your ability to function to make decisions you need to have someone designated that can set in on your behalf that has your best interest in mind,” Mersereau said.

Additionally, the state of Michigan has provided information and forms to help create a will.


About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.