While many people believe that they only need an estate plan when they are older, this is simply not the case. Wills can be an important consideration at many life stages, and dying without one could leave the people you care about without the support they need. Do you need a will?
Are you married?
While your spouse will inherit a large part of your property after you are gone, a will allows you to have greater control over the property that they will inherit. How much will they receive? Is there any property that you specifically want them to inherit? Are there other assets that they might inherit that you would rather leave to another person? Your will allows you to address these questions.
People who have married before should especially consider their estate planning needs. Writing your will allows you to address those family dynamics to create a fair solution.
Do you have children?
If you have children under the age of 18, a will doesn’t just lay out the property they will inherit if you pass away. A will can also detail which person you want to act as their guardian, allowing you to choose someone that you trust to treat your children with the care that they deserve.
Do you want to provide for people who are not direct relatives?
Without a will, the state will use a specific set of legal guidelines to determine which people will inherit your property. The people you care about the most, though, may be left out if you leave your estate up to the court. If you want to provide for your in-laws, your close friends, your unmarried romantic partner, more distant relatives like cousins and many others, a will is the best way to do that.
Those who have not written a will should speak to an attorney about their estate planning needs. An attorney can help you explore your goals, provide for your loved ones and create a plan that prepares for future challenges.