You’re Never Too Young to Prepare Your Will
Here’s a cheerful thought: time is passing by us every day. While we (technically) age, many of us don’t “feel” the age our number of birthdays otherwise indicates.
Mortality isn’t something we care to think about. Whether because of fear, sentiment, or the belief that we are going to be here forever, many people haven’t taken the steps necessary to protect their life’s earnings or their families.
Truth is, everyone needs a will or estate plan. It doesn’t matter how big or small your estate might be—every estate needs a plan. And you’re never too young to have one.
Who Needs a Will?
Not just elderly millionaires! A will is a legal document that governs the distribution of your assets and nominates the people who will care for your children. Your will can include specific instructions for any manner of property, including homes, cars, or bank accounts, as well as objects with personal or sentimental value, such as jewelry, photographs, and family memorabilia.
So, who needs a will? The short answer is, of course, everyone! Though you have to be of legal age (18 or 19, depending on the state) in the United States to have an “official” will, minors are perfectly capable of writing up their wishes, which families and friends can respect.
- For young adults just starting out in life, making a will seems superfluous. They tend to feel invulnerable (they’re not) or think they have nothing of value (they may be wrong there as well). No matter how little you have, a will keeps your wishes clear. And leaving things to charity is never a bad way to go.
- For new parents or adults in their 20s to 40s, life is all about family. From finding a partner to rearing their kids, much of their income and energy is spent on those children. A will allows parents to determine who would be responsible for taking on the kids in the event they are unable to, and how the family’s assets would be distributed to benefit them. You may get married, divorced, remarried, or stay single. In any event, you need to be prepared, and having a will protects your loved ones.
- In middle age, the time when kids go off to college until retirement age, you may think you don’t have enough left over to make a will worthwhile. But what happens to your home, your mortgage, student loans, and all of the assets you’ve collected over a lifetime (as well as all your debts)? Do you want your home to be sold and the proceeds divided? Or do you want your mortgage paid off and the home given to the kids? A will can answer these questions. Also, if you are part of the “sandwich generation”—taking care of your kids and your parents at the same time— you want to make sure you have provisions in place for both groups.
- At retirement age and beyond, you’ll probably be concerned primarily with your own physical or mental health challenges. You may require care for your daily living needs, and as your needs increase, you’ll need money set aside for your future. Having a will in place protects you from being scammed by con artists or taken advantage of by greedy family members.
Regardless of your age or your socioeconomic status, getting a will drafted and regularly revised is the smart way to protect yourself and your family. Meet with the team at Bottlinger Law L.L.C. at (402) 505-8234. We are here to advise you on how to best plan for you and your loved ones.