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When should you make a will?

On Behalf of | Oct 13, 2023 | Estate Planning

Making a will is an important part of planning for the future. This estate planning document lets you express your wishes regarding your assets and ensure they get followed after you die.

Although most people need a will, it can be difficult to tell exactly when you should create one, especially if you are younger or just starting your career. However, there are certain life situations that should prompt you to make this legal document as part of the estate planning process.

When you have assets to protect

Many people assume they do not need a will and according to CNBC, only 33% of those in the U.S. have an estate plan. If you own any assets, such as a home, a car, savings accounts or personal belongings, it is a good time to consider making a will.

After you have children

If you have dependents, such as children or disabled family members, creating a will is something you should prioritize. In this legal document, you can designate guardians for your children and make provisions for their financial well-being.

When you want to avoid family disputes

Without a will, your assets may be subject to the laws of intestacy, which can lead to disputes among your family members. By making a will, you can clearly outline your wishes, reducing the chances of disagreements and conflicts among your heirs.

When you want to support charitable causes

If you have a strong desire to support charitable organizations or causes that are meaningful to you, a will can help you accomplish this. You can allocate a portion of your estate to these charities, leaving an impact on the causes you care about.

When you get married or divorced

Major life events, like marriage or divorce, should prompt you to review and update your will. After getting married, you may want to include your spouse as a beneficiary and after a divorce, you may want to remove your former spouse from your will.

After you make your will, review this document regularly to ensure it continues to reflect your wishes. Generally, you should plan on reading over your will at least once a year and making changes as needed.