Dwight D. Eisenhower is known for many things. He was the 34th president of the United States, he had an iconic nickname (Vote for “Ike”!), and he was a five-star general in the U.S. Army during World War II. One of his greatest contributions to the world, however, was the ability to discern between what is important and what is simply urgent. “What is important is seldom urgent,” he often said, “and what is urgent is seldom important”.
When life gets crammed with “to dos” and urgent duties, it can feel nearly impossible to keep up with everything. Because of this, many people get caught up in deadlines, appointments, and piles of laundry, pushing important matters such as the creation of wills and trusts to the end of their “to do” list.
Eisenhower knew that it is easy to get caught up in urgent needs at the expense of pursuing the important things in life. When we get so caught up in daily tasks that we forget to invest in our futures, for example, we end up unintentionally sacrificing our well-being on the altar of urgency.
Why Wills and Trusts are Important
According to a recent survey conducted for lawyers.com, 65 percent of Americans do not have wills. Whether they realize it or not, they are taking a huge risk. The lack of a will means that property does not have a clear beneficiary, and your home and cars may be distributed in a way that does not honor your wishes. If you have minor children, the lack of a will is even riskier. If minor children are not assigned a legal guardian, surviving family will be forced to work in a probate court to find a legal guardian for the children. This may or may not be someone you would have selected yourself.
Trusts serve people who have a positive net worth of assets, such as savings or a significant life insurance policy. While not everyone necessarily needs a trust, they help beneficiaries avoid probates upon death. Importantly, a will includes every property that is listed under your name. A trust, on the other hand, only includes property that is specifically included and listed on the trust.
Most people avoid creating wills and trusts because they don’t believe it is urgent or important, and we understand that sentiment. No one wants to plan for death, and we all desire to live long and healthy lives. Nonetheless, creating wills and trusts is important because it protects those we may leave behind. Planning ahead isn’t just a wise safety measure. In this case, it is an act of love and care.
At the Law Offices of Rios & Parada, we can answer you questions about wills and trusts, and we can provide you with the tools you need to take care of what’s important – even while you are checking urgent “to dos” off of your list!