SCRANTON – August is “National Make a Will Month.”

“While many folks may not be thinking about their will in the middle of summer, it’s a good time to be reminded of the importance of preparing or updating a will to ensure one’s wishes are executed as they intend,” said Jim Bebla, Diocesan Secretary for Development.

Despite the importance of having a will, many Americans never get around to drafting it, citing that they simply didn’t have time or prefer not to think about it.

Another common misconception is that unless you are wealthy, you do not need a will.

An individual’s wealth and assets may determine how lengthy or in-depth a will or estate planning may be but it certainly does not dictate the need. Every family, regardless of their wealth, should have a will because of the peace of mind and ease that it can bring you.

“Getting a will prepared does not need to be a lengthy or costly project,” said Bebla.

Here are a few tips to get started:

• Make a list of all of your assets, including investments, properties, bank accounts and personal property such as art, jewelry and other valuables.

• Review all of your beneficiary designations of your life insurance, investment and retirement accounts.

• You may wish to consider including the Diocese, your parish or another charitable organization in your will and/or as a beneficiary of your accounts.

• If you already have a will in place, be sure to review it every couple of years, updating it with any new assets, and making any necessary change to your wishes.

• It is also helpful to review the executors that you put in place to execute your will, making sure that you still want the person you designated and that they are still willing to serve in this role.

• If you haven’t yet prepared a will, now is the time! Connect with a lawyer or consider using a free or cost-effective online tool.

For more information on preparing an estate plan or about including the Diocese or your parish in your will, please contact Jim Bebla at or (570) 207-2250.