Peace of mind for the future

I have two questions for you. Do you currently own a home? Do you have children whom you are responsible for who live with you in your home?

If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, you should have a will!

Let’s face it – although most of us don’t want to talk about the need for a will or other estate planning documents, they’re critical to providing us with a voice in determining how our property will be transferred and identifying the people who will care for our loved ones and handle our affairs when we’re gone.

When you pass away without the appropriate estate planning documents in place, state laws are allowed to make a variety of decisions about your legacy, including who is responsible for your children and who takes ownership of your home. It’s important YOU make the decisions for your future affairs, and not the State of Nebraska or distant relatives who may not have an understanding of your wishes. You have the right to choose who will be responsible for your loved ones and property. 

Some of the most common uses for wills and estate planning include naming a conservator and guardian for the care of your children and for the finances you may leave behind in order to help with that care. Guardianship and conservatorship documents can help you ensure your children are cared for as you intended. Additionally, you may wish to determine how your debts should be resolved, including whether you wish for your home to be sold or retained for family use.

It’s equally important you be prepared when it comes to notifying your family of your wishes. Once you’ve executed a will and other supporting documents, it is suggested you retain an original copy for yourself, as well as provide a copy to any individual who is named in your estate planning documents. It’s also recommended that you provide a final copy of the documents to a trusted friend, who is not otherwise named in the estate planning documents.

A will and its accompanying legal documents can reduce conflict and provide support to your family as they make plans to carry out your wishes, relating to the care of children in your life and your legacy of homeownership. I invite you to learn more about wills and estate planning – including the peace of mind they can provide – at our free Wills and Estate Planning Workshop on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, at Habitat for Humanity of Omaha from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Naomi Hattaway
Program Director
Habitat for Humanity of Omaha