Sign In
Get Started
Finance for Parents

Do I Really Need a Will?

By Anna DaviesDec 26, 2017

Your bank account balance just covers your monthly bills, and you don’t think the contents of your closet is exactly an asset. So, if you don’t have any dependents, own property, or have substantive savings, do you need a will? The short answer is yes.

“Making a will is one of the wisest and potentially most important decision you’ll make,” notes Brian A. Raphan, an attorney in Manhattan.

For one, having a will clears a lot of red tape for your friends and family. For another, it doesn't even have to take that long. Fabric's researchers found that more than 75 percent of customers created a will online in under ten minutes.

Here’s what to know about writing a will and why it’s so important to have one at any stage of your life.


1. You Have More than You Think

This is one of the top reasons people think they don't need a will, but it doesn't usually hold water. You may look at your bank account balance and think you’re broke, but if you break down your assets, you likely have some items of value—even if they’re only sentimental value. For example, you may have your engagement ring, a piece of furniture passed down through your family, or even photo albums, artwork, or collectibles that are a cherished part of your history or the history of your family.

It’s also smart to take stock of your larger financial picture: Do you have savings? These should be mentioned in your will. What about your car? Even if you’re paying off the balance, you can still name the car in the will (the balance would then be transferred to the new owner, so they could either take over payments or sell the car). You may find yourself surprised by how much you have once you start taking inventory.

You may find yourself surprised by how much you have once you start taking inventory.

2. You Can Make Your Wishes Known

Do you have a charity or organization you love? Naming one is a great way to make a difference, even if the worst were to happen. A will is also one last chance to “talk” to your loved ones and share what they mean to you.

Even if you don’t think you have much, naming your brother or sister the owner of your collection of photographs or your office work wife the owner of your laptop is a way to show how much you care about them, even if you’re not there to tell them in person.

Plus, importantly, this is an opportunity to have a conversation with your loved ones about who should care for your children if you were to pass away. Once you've reached a conclusion, you can write your instructions in your will.

In some cases, you might also choose to create a trust to make sure that your assets are passed down in the exact way you wish. For example, maybe you want your children to wait until a certain age before they have full access to the money you've left behind.

3. You Help Your Loved Ones Avoid Misunderstandings

If you don’t designate who gets what, things will be divided according to the laws of your state. No spouse or children? In New York, for example, that means all your belongings would go to your parents—not ideal if you don’t get along or if you would prefer your estate to go to a partner who is not a legal spouse, says Raphan.

4. You Save Friends and Family Time and $$$

If you die without a will, the entire contents of your estate follows your state’s law. But that can create tension or drama between families, especially if you die without any close family, where your estate may then be handled by a Public Administrator. If things come to that, family may have to “prove” they are related to you by appearing in court and producing their birth certificate.

(Full disclosure: Lots of people as us how to make a will for free because they assume that this process is complicated and expensive. That's why Fabric lets you write a will online for free.)

5. Your Executor Won't Get Saddled With Your Debt

Reluctant to create a will because you’re worried your loved ones will be saddled with consumer debt? Most debt does not get passed on to your next of kin. That means you don’t have to worry about the person you name as executor also being held responsible for your credit card bills. That's the person who will make sure all your wishes in your will are carried out and all your financial matters are settled. Bills will be paid from the assets you have, but if they don’t cover the total of your debt, the debts are usually forgiven.

6. You Can Make Your Funeral Requests Known

While you can’t guarantee a will is going be read before a funeral, it can be a good place to put some requests on how you would like people to remember you. These thoughts aren’t binding, but they can help point your family and friends in the right direction for final arrangements, which is so helpful when they may be grieving.


It’s also important to ensure that your will is legally binding, which is why creating one from a template is infinitely better than scribbling your wishes down in your journal. And a legally-binding will doesn’t need to be pricey.

At Fabric, you can complete your own free, personalized, legally-binding will and keep record of your final arrangements in one convenient place when you create your Fabric Will Kit.

It’s also important to revisit your will every year or two, or whenever you undergo a major life change, such as getting married or committing to a serious relationship or buying property.

Regardless of what your will says and how you divvy up your property, it’s essential that your loved ones know you have a will, and where to find it.

Regardless of what your will says and how you divvy up your property, it’s essential that your loved ones know you have a will, and where to find it. Fabric can help give support in starting these conversations. While they may be initially uncomfortable, making sure everyone is on the same page can deliver invaluable peace of mind.


Fabric exists to help young families master their money. Our articles abide by strict editorial standards.


Make a will online, free, and help protect the people you love - in minutes.

This article is meant to provide general information and not to provide any specific legal advice or to serve as the basis for any decisions.

Fabric isn’t a law firm and we aren’t licensed to practice law or to provide any legal advice. If you do need legal advice for your specific situation, you should consult with a licensed attorney and/or tax professional.

Fabric Insurance Agency, LLC offers a mobile experience for people on-the-go who want an easy and fast way to purchase life insurance.


Subscribe to our newsletter


Written by

Anna Davies

Related Posts

Finance for Parents

Do I Need a Lawyer to Make My Will?

Digital access to resources and online tools mean it’s easier than ever to write your own will online. But should you?

By Jacqui Kenyon
Finance for Parents

Spring Clean Your Finances: 5 To-Dos

Our spring check-in has five to-dos to help you keep your finances tidy and be the master of your family life.

By Allison Kade
Finance for Parents

Life Insurance Health Exam: What Do I Need to Know?

In some cases, life insurance underwriters may ask you to take a brief health exam as part of your application. Here’s how that might go.

By Kaycie Tyll

Fabric Picks

Finance for Parents

What It Means to Take Out a Life Insurance Policy on Someone Else

Before you jump to take out a life insurance for someone else, get the facts on when this is beneficial and when it’s more hassle than it’s worth.

By Jessica Sillers
Finance for Parents

5 Types of People Who Should Consider 15-Year Term Life Insurance

Everyone is different. Here are some cases in which a 15-year term life insurance policy could help offer the protection your family needs.

By Ashley Abramson
Finance for Parents

Do I Really Need Life Insurance?

We get this question a lot: Do I *really* need life insurance? It depends, but the more responsibilities in your life, the stronger chance you do.

By Jessica Sillers

About Fabric

iOS

/

Android

Subscribe to our newsletter

© 2020 Fabric Insurance Agency, LLC

Fabric Instant is an Accidental Death Insurance Policy (Form VL-ADH1 with state variations where applicable) and Fabric Premium is a Term Life Insurance Policy (Form ICC16-VLT, ICC16-VLT19, and CMP 0501 with state variations where applicable). Policies are issued by Vantis Life Insurance Company (Vantis Life), Windsor, CT (all states except NY), and by Vantis Life Insurance Company of New York, Brewster, NY (NY only). Coverage may not be available in all states. Issuance of coverage for Fabric Premium is subject to underwriting review and approval. Please see a copy of the policy for the full terms, conditions and exclusions. Policy obligations are the sole responsibility of Vantis Life.

Fabric Insurance Agency, LLC (FIA) is an insurance agency licensed to sell life, accident, and health insurance products. FIA will receive compensation from Vantis Life for such sales. The NAIC Company Code for Vantis Life is 68632. See the Terms of Use for additional information regarding FIA.

Plan like a parent. is a trademark of Fabric Technologies, Inc.