In the United States, around 60% of adults admit that they don’t have a will or a living trust. Are you part of that percentage?
It’s natural to assume that you have plenty of time to worry about estate planning as you get older, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. So, when should you write a will? The simple answer is as soon as possible. But, more specifically, there are certain points in your life when it’s a clear sign that it’s time to get your estate planning documents finalized.
Keep reading to learn what those signs are so you are prepared for the future.
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1. Your Marital Status Changes
Getting married, divorced, or remarried are some of the biggest changes you’ll experience in your life. It also generally means that there will be a change in your beneficiaries should something happen to you. If you don’t already have a will, talk to an estate planner about writing a will during this time of change.
If you don’t take care of this now, you run the risk of your assets going to the wrong person should you die.
2. You Buy a Home
When you buy a new piece of property, this is a huge change to your assets. With a high-value asset like a home or piece of land in your name, you need to make sure it ends up in the right hands if you pass away.
For example, if you have multiple kids, you might want your will to dictate that your heirs should sell the property when you die and split the proceeds evenly. If you don’t have this in your will, there could be a dispute between your heirs once you die.
3. You Have a Child
Having your first child is one of life’s most exciting times. It’s also a great reminder that you’re responsible for more than just yourself and that means you need a will.
If you don’t already have one, you need to work with an estate planning lawyer to make sure your child is set as a beneficiary. You should also use this time to designate a guardian for your child if you and your spouse pass away while the child is a minor. While it’s uncomfortable to think about in the early blissful days of having a new child, get it taken care of sooner rather than later.
4. You Open a Business
Have you finally realized your dream of starting your own business? This process often involves a lot of paperwork, and if you haven’t already drafted a will, then you need to add one more piece of paperwork to the pile.
In this case, your will should dictate how your business should be divided among your beneficiaries in the event of your passing. It should also outline requirements for continuing the business or selling it off.
When Should You Write a Will? Now You Know
After reading this brief guide, you can now answer the question, “when should you write a will?” If you experience any of these life events, draft a will as soon as you can, or make updates to your existing will accordingly. You’ll have peace of mind as a result.
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