Many people do not think about estate planning until they are elderly or sick. Though these are valid times to consider your will, it is wise to draft a will (or revocable living trust) far before these situations occur.
Planning for your own death often feels scary, which is why many people put off legacy planning until it becomes necessary. However, creating a will when you are young and healthy ensures that your loved ones are taken care of. This peace of mind, for both you and your loved ones, is worth it.
When to Write a Will
Many people do not draft a will until their 20’s or 30’s, but it can be drafted as young as 18 years old. There are also several life events that are cause to either reexamine your existing will. These include:
- Getting married
- Getting divorced or remarried
- When you acquire significant assets such as a home, car, property, savings, etc.
- When you start a business
- Every 5 years if none of the above occur first
Your will should accurately reflect your assets and possessions at all times in your life. It should also reflect your current wishes and beneficiaries. If you do not update your will after a divorce, for example, your assets could go to an ex-spouse.
Why Write a Will?
Many people falsely believe that a person must be rich in order to write a will. This is simply not true. If you have assets of any kind, it’s in your best interest to have a will or revocable living trust. If you don’t, there could be undesired consequences:
The State Could Take Your Money
If you pass away without a will, the state could seize your assets, which will go through probate court. A judge will decide who gets your money and assets, and it may not be the family members and friends who most deserve it.
Your Kids Can Be Left Out
Most assets transfer to a spouse if not otherwise indicated. This means that your spouse could get all of your assets, and your children get none.
In cases of remarriage, this can be especially troublesome. Your children could be left with nothing while their stepparent is taken care of financially. If the stepparent writes a will and bequeaths your assets to their own children and not yours, your money would never make it to your children at all.
In order to avoid this kind of situation, it is best to write a will or living trust and make sure that your children are beneficiaries to your assets.
Looking to Create a Will or Living Trust? Leave it to Trajan Wealth
At Trajan Wealth, we specialize in estate planning, estate tax planning, living trusts, wills, and more. Our friendly, experienced, and insightful team can help ensure that your family inherits what you intend to leave them. Don’t wait, set up an appointment to create or update your will today (we promise, it’s not as scary as it sounds!).