The idea of being “proactive” has never held much appeal. Burglar alarms are often installed only after the house has been looted. Trip insurance is frequently purchased for the vacation after the one that goes awry. And yes, barn doors have been known to be locked after the horse has been stolen.
The same is true of having a will prepared. It’s one activity that can’t be put off until after the need arises. Instead, it is often some galvanizing life event that first prompts someone to prepare a will.
- “My mother died and her estate was a mess. I want to make sure my partner and children aren’t burdened by my poor planning.”
- “I am going on a vacation and will be traveling by air and sea. It will be easier to relax if I know my affairs are in order, just in case!”
- “I am having surgery and want to make sure my will is ready, on the off chance things don’t go as planned.”
- “We are getting married, and I heard that if I were to die, my spouse wouldn’t get all of my estate. I want a will to make sure he gets everything.”
- “I was in a serious car accident, and I realized that if I hadn’t survived, my partner would have inherited nothing from my estate. I need to make sure she is protected in case I’m not so lucky next time.”
Instead of waiting for a wake-up call, when should you write your first will? For those of us in the LGBT community, having a will prepared can be especially urgent.