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When Should You Create a Will

When Should You Create a Will

By Hampton & Pigott
Posted on 7-17-2023

The biggest mistake people make in regards to estate planning, is not thinking about it sooner. We get it. No one wants to think about accidents or leaving loved ones behind. But it is important that you do think about the subject so that your wishes are carried out in your absence. When exactly should you start thinking about drawing up your will? In short, the sooner the better. But here are some specific instances in life where taking estate planning seriously makes the most sense.

Age and Adult Responsibilities

Once you reach the legal age of adulthood, which is typically 18 or 21 years depending on the jurisdiction, it is advisable to consider creating a will. At this stage, you may have acquired assets, investments, or personal belongings that you would like to distribute according to your wishes.

Major Life Events

Significant life events often trigger the need for creating or updating a will. These events may include getting married, having children or grandchildren, buying a property, starting a business, or receiving a sizable inheritance. These milestones can impact your financial situation and the distribution of your assets, making it essential to have a will that reflects your new circumstances.

Accumulation of Assets

As you accumulate wealth and assets over time, it becomes increasingly important to have a will in place to ensure that your wishes regarding the distribution of your estate are carried out. This includes assets such as real estate, investments, bank accounts, vehicles, valuable possessions, and intellectual property.

Changes in Personal Relationships

Significant changes in personal relationships, such as marriage, divorce, separation, or the death of a spouse or partner, often warrant updating or creating a will. These events can impact how you want your assets to be distributed and who you want to appoint as beneficiaries, executors, or guardians for minor children.

Health Considerations

If you have concerns about your health or are facing a serious illness, it is a good time to create or update your will. Having a will allows you to outline your healthcare preferences, designate a healthcare proxy, or make provisions for medical decisions in case you become incapacitated.

Peace of Mind

Regardless of age or specific life events, it's never too early to create a will. Having a will provides peace of mind knowing that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes and can help avoid potential disputes among family members.

Remember, laws regarding wills and estate planning can vary depending on your jurisdiction. It's always a good idea to consult with an attorney or estate planning professional, like ours here at Hampton & Pigott, who can provide guidance tailored to your specific situation and ensure that your will is valid and legally enforceable.

Lastly, it's important to regularly review and update your will as circumstances change over time. This ensures that your will remains up-to-date and accurately reflects your wishes. If you would like help creating or managing your will or estate plan, trust our experienced team to help.