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What factors should affect how soon you draft your will?

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2018 | estate planning and probate, Firm News | 0 comments

Car crashes, workplace violence and deadly case of the flu are just three of many different reasons that a person of any age could die unexpectedly. While younger adults may have fewer assets, they should still consider how they want them handled if they die, as well as the needs of any dependents that they have. Wills can no longer be chalked up as something just for older people.

In most jurisdictions in the United States, a will isn’t legally valid until you’re 18. While you may not have enough assets to warrant drafting your will at such a young age, you may want to sit down and draw up some estate planning documents like a health care power of attorney. This can let others know what your medical wishes are if you were to become unable to make them for yourself.

If you don’t draft your will soon after turning 18, then you may want to do so after you get married, divorced or walk down the aisle again. One of the main reasons that you may want to do this is to update it to name your new spouse as your beneficiary. In some jurisdictions, you may even need to specifically declare that you don’t want your ex to be entitled to any of part of your estate.

When you become a parent, it’s also important to draft a will. You’ll want to also update it once your children become adults. If you draft the will while they’re still minors, then you’ll want to use it to appoint a guardian to care for them if something were to happen to you. As your children age, you may want to draft a new will to reflect how much of your estate you wish each child to receive.

Other instances in which you may wish to draft a will sooner than later is if you’ve amassed a significant amount of assets or if you own a home or a business. With some of these considerations, you may need to draft additional documents to go along with your will to ensure that your property can be smoothly transferred to your beneficiary after you’re gone.

A Trenton estate planning and probate attorney can advise you what documents to draft that reflect your wishes and desires.