“Why Do I Need A Will?”

Why is it a good idea for each of us to have a will, regardless of income?

“Whether you want to plan for your family or for the assets you have acquired during your life following your death, both are an important consideration for every one of us, regardless of income level. Estate planning is an important tool for us to give direction and voice to our decisions for the care of our loved ones and the disposition of our assets. Without estate planning documents, those decisions are left to someone else.”

– Stacey A. George, attorney, Varnum

“Having a written plan for your estate: a Will, Powers of Attorney, and possibly a Trust is one of the most important things you can do for the individuals, institutions and organizations you love.  If you pass away without a plan, the state that you live in will decide where your assets go.  By putting your wishes down on paper, you avoid unnecessary hassles and gain the peace of mind knowing in advance your assets will end up where you want.”

– Dan Baas, senior vice president, Old National Bank

“A thoughtful and properly prepared estate plan will help reduce the stress your family or loved ones will face upon your passing. If you die without a will or trust, your state of residency provides the intestate succession and this most likely will not distribute your estate in the same manner you would. Equally as important, an intestate succession will not include any charitable distributions.”

– John Simonds, vice president/wealth advisor, Macatawa Bank

There are many ways to remember Catholic Charities West Michigan in your estate planning:

Real life example: A generous donor who formerly volunteered at the Muskegon food pantry has made plans to leave to Catholic Charities West Michigan the bulk of an annuity, worth tens of thousands of dollars. He wants to support the important work of feeding people who are in need well into the future. Leaving a legacy like this man has chosen to do is not just for the wealthy. It is for all of us who care about the needs of others.

Other ways to remember Catholic Charities West Michigan include:

– Life insurance beneficiary
– Beneficiary of required minimum distributions from 401(k) after age 70.5
– Gift of stock
– Gift of property
– Specific bequest of a percentage or dollar amount in will or estate plan
– Charitable trusts

Always consult with financial advisers when making estate plans. They likely have suggestions when it comes to remembering your favorite charities, based on your preferences.