If you are 18 years of age or older, you have likely heard that you need to make a will and that you need to review it at least once each year to make sure that it is updated. But… do you really? If you’re a younger adult, you may not own many assets and you may not have kids. If you’re an older adult, you may not be concerned about creating an estate plan because you’re pretty sure that the state will simply entrust everything you own to your spouse, kids or next of kin after you’re gone.
If you truly don’t care how your assets are distributed after you die, you have no preferences regarding your burial, funeral or memorial, you never use the Internet and you have no minor children who will need a guardian named in the event that you pass away, you do not have to create a will. But, chances are very good that your circumstances don’t check every single one of these boxes.
The benefits of drafting a will
Every adult needs to engage in estate planning to some extent because they cannot ensure that their wishes will be honored in the event that they suffer incapacitation due to illness or injury otherwise. This is the purpose of advance healthcare directives, living wills, power of attorney designations, etc. But there are also specific reasons why nearly every adult can benefit from drafting a will, specifically.
A will can allow someone to indicate how their digital, physical and intangible assets should be distributed after their death. Even those who don’t own much valuable property tend to own sentimental property that they want to be distributed a certain way. Wills can also be utilized to leave valuable insight into an individual’s wishes, including their guardianship preferences for minor children and how they want their remains treated after death.
Working with a legal professional to better ensure that a will is complete and legally enforceable is always best.