If the thought do I need a will? has ever crossed your mind before retirement planning, you are not alone. Regardless of your age, you want to do what’s best for your family should the unexpected occur. While it’s never pleasant to think about your will, it’s an important discussion to have at any point in life. A will is a legally-binding document that details your desires for dividing your assets after you pass. It is the best method to ensure your wishes are known, respected, and fulfilled once you’ve taken your last bow. Here are considerations for why it’s important to think about preparing a will, no matter your age.
Benefits for You and your Family
A will is the best way to safeguard your wishes upon your death. Your will allows you to select to whom you’d like to distribute your property, and how. Your will protects your spouse, children, assets, friends, and extended family after your parting to promote a smooth transition for your loved ones. By enabling you to designate an executor to administer your estate, appoint a guardian to take care of any minor children, and give specific directions on how you would like your property and assets distributed, you take the weight of these decisions off of the shoulders of your family members and friends so they don’t have to make such important decisions at a difficult time.
Sometimes, minor children are left behind after an unexpected tragedy. If you have children of your own under 18, it is never a bad time to put in writing who should take care of them after your passing. A will allows you to choose and designate one or more legal guardians for your children. Legally assigning a responsible and trusted guardian with your children is one of the most important decisions you can make. Without a will, the state may appoint someone you do not know to look after them, who may not have your best interests at heart.
When is the Right Time to Prepare a Will?
It’s never too early to prepare a will. Even if you are young and don’t have many assets in your name, it can still be helpful to prepare a will for the aforementioned reasons that it can benefit your family. Those who believe they don’t need a will because they had one written a few years or decades ago may also want to consider updating the will to reflect the current circumstances regarding their families and estates. As your family and estate changes, so too should your will.
For more information about preparing or revising a will or other estate planning documents, speak with the experienced estate planning attorneys at Sandelands-Eyet LLP. We have decades of combined experience helping families address pertinent legal issues. Call 908-470-1200 for a free consultation.