August is National Make-A-Will Month, which is a great opportunity to create or update your will. While it may seem strange to have a month devoted to this topic, the reality is that only about one-third of adults in the U.S. have a will. Many of those without a will feel that they don’t have time to make one, or they don’t feel that they need one. So why bother?

A will is an important legal document that all adults, regardless of socioeconomic status, should have to ensure their final wishes are carried out as intended. A will can provide you with peace of mind that your assets will be used according to your desires, and it can help prevent confusion for your family. Additionally, it allows you to plan guardianship for those who are in your care, such as children and pets.

A will can also be used as a powerful tool to leave a gift to an organization that you have supported during your lifetime. By including charities in your will, you create a legacy that continues to positively impact the world after you are no longer here. You can use your will to benefit charities close to your heart for years to come, without costing you anything during your lifetime. Even a small designation can make a big difference to an organization.

If you don’t have a will yet, consider taking the opportunity to draft one this month. One free resource that you can use to get started is You can also contact your estate attorney or financial advisor to discuss your options. If you need advice on where to start, you can always reach out to the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Ann Arbor, part of the Jewish Federation, who can help you on your journey.

If you already have a will, estate attorneys recommend reviewing your will every few years, or when you have a big life event, such as moving to a new state, getting married, having children or even grandchildren. Consider setting aside 15 minutes this month to assess your will to make sure it is up to date and reflects your current wishes.

The Greater Ann Arbor Jewish community is fortunate to be a part of the LIFE & LEGACY® program, which helps people and families give back to our community through these 11 local Jewish organizations: Ann Arbor Orthodox Minyan, Beth Israel Congregation, Chabad House of Ann Arbor, Eastern Michigan University Center for Jewish Studies, Hebrew Day School of Ann Arbor, Jewish Community Center of Greater Ann Arbor, Jewish Cultural Society, Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County, Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor, Temple Beth Emeth, and University of Michigan Hillel.

If you’d like more information on how you can use your will to support these organizations, please visit or contact Osnat Gafni-Pappas at or 734-773-3538.