THERE ARE MANY REASONS PEOPLE NEVER PREPARE A WILL:
•    Fear of death;
•    Uncertainty about estate distribution;
•    Family conflicts;
•    The difficulty and challenge of doing an estate inventory;
•    Inconvenience;
•    Expense;
•    Procrastination;
•    No lawyer; and so forth.

Sometimes drag their feet in creating or updating their will because they don't know where to go to get valuable legal help. However, the plain fact is, every excuse is empty if it causes you to die without a will.

YOUR WILL SAYS SOMETHING ABOUT YOU.  First, it says that you care about your loved ones. You want to make it easier for them by taking care of legal matters relating to the transfer of your estate. Next, it reflects the things that are important to you.

It has been said that every parent has one additional child to remember in his or her will: the Jewish community. A bequest is perhaps the easiest way to ensure Jewish continuity. The Tidewater Jewish Foundation (TJF) can assist donors in preparing a simple codicil (amendment) to their will to benefit a synagogue, the Federation, or any of our Affiliate agencies.

This bequest may provide a specific cash gift, a percentage of your estate, or specific asset(s) to be given to an organization or agency in support of its various programs and endeavors. A bequest may also be in the form of a gift of the remaining assets of one’s estate. Bequests, like other gifts, can be designated for many purposes or given without restriction.

Once you’ve decided to create your will, the first step is to locate an attorney who specializes in estate planning. You want someone who is skilled in this area, knows the right questions to ask and is current with tax laws and document requirements. We at TJF are familiar with the type of attorney you need to assist you with estate-planning matters and can help you find someone you will feel confident about and trust.

In any case, it is a good idea to have a short visit with any attorney you don't know before you engage him or her as your legal advisor. Take the opportunity to learn about his or her services and to see whether you feel comfortable with the person. By the way, there are generally no charges for this initial visit.

Finding the right attorney may take a little extra effort, but you will be glad you spent the time — especially when you sit down to share confidential information about your assets and your distribution wishes.

TJF can be of tremendous service in helping you integrate your giving goals with your overall estate plan and can help you prepare to visit your attorney. TJF provides a free Wills Planner you may download here. For more information, please call us at (757) 965-6111 or email Scott Kaplan, President & CEO, at skaplan@ujft.org.


Tidewater Jewish Foundation

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