Despite the somewhat uncomfortable nature of the topic, wills are an essential part of estate planning. A legal document that explains your wishes regarding personal property after death, a will provides a way to circumvent state laws regarding property distribution. If you have any property you wish to bequeath to particular parties, a legal and current will is essential.

When to write a will

It is never too early to write a will, even if you have few possessions. Wills are most commonly recommended after marriage, starting a family, inheriting a large amount of property, or other circumstances that may warrant personal preferences regarding inheritance. However, even if none of these situations apply to you, it is still advised to create a will as early as possible.

The requirements for a will vary from state to state, so it is important to partner with a trusted attorney to ensure your will holds up to legal scrutiny.

Why do I need a will?

If you don’t have many assets or don’t have any specific requests for your possessions after death, you may be asking yourself, “Why do I need a will?” Even if the circumstances surrounding the need for a will don’t seem to apply to you, a will is always a good idea.

A will makes is much easier for family and friends to sort through your possessions in the event of your death. Regardless of the value of your items, a will can lay out clear rules that will mitigate disputes or other issues. In addition, a will can stop the state from dividing up your assets. For example, in most states, a spouse and living children take precedence, so if you’d like your parents or your siblings to receive property, a will is likely the only way to do so. The protections in a will can also limit the amount of inheritance tax that will apply to certain items, should your estate be eligible, increasing the availability of property to be passed on. A will can determine who will be administering your estate, too, so you can be sure a responsible party will handle all necessary steps.

Even if you do not think you need a will, it is in your best interest to draft a legal document as soon as possible. After all, you never know what life has in store.

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