By Emily Kittle
One of my high school classmates and her husband were killed in a vehicle-motorcycle collision last week.
They leave behind two little girls, too young to grow up without mom and dad.
It's the kind of thing that makes you think about life.
And the things you keep meaning to do, but haven't.
I'll confess: I haven't written a will. Like my classmate, I have two young children. I really have no excuse for not putting something in writing that spells out who would take care of our children if something happened to my husband and me.
I'm not alone.
An AARP survey found that two out of five Americans older than 45 don't have a will. Dale Repass, chief executive officer of First Community Trust in Dubuque, believes that's a conservative estimate.
"I think it's a lot more common than you think," he says of not having a will. "But there are so many reasons for people to have wills that I personally believe, in most situations, it's a very good idea and it will help clarify their thoughts after they're gone."
For some, it's the fear of facing death that keeps them away from this important task. Others don't think they have enough assets to make it worth their while.
"Young people can end up with more assets than they think they have, and if you have minor children it's very important to have a will," Repass says.
Feeling intimidated about writing a will? Our next post will offer guidance on getting started and outline the what-ifs of life - and death - without a will.