Even the thought of writing one’s will can be stressful or anxiety-producing for many people. Nevertheless, it’s an important task as your loved ones will already be overwhelmed with grief at your passing. By having a will in place, they will not have the added stress of guessing as to your final wishes. A will can also reduce or eliminate conflict among your heirs.
If you believe you are too young or too healthy to worry about making a will, reconsider. Life is filled with unexpected events, and most of us have no idea when or how we will pass from this life. A will can be updated whenever necessary so there is no reason to put it off. In addition, an estate planning attorney can make the process of writing a will very straightforward and legally sound.
When to Write or Update Your Will
Major life events are often milestones that should prompt you to write or update your will. Ideally, you already have a will but if not, do not wait for another life event before contacting an estate planning lawyer Sacramento trusts. Because life changing events can affect your final wishes, the following circumstances should prompt you to contact an attorney to update your will:
You Got Married
A marriage changes many aspects of one’s life, and it may affect who you want included in your will. Perhaps you have a previous partner listed to inherit some or all of your assets because you haven’t updated your will in a long time. Here’s another reason to update your will after getting married. Some states actually require you to rewrite your will after getting married or else your spouse will inherit your estate as if you had no will at all. The exceptions to that law are if you did one of the following:
- You had a premarital agreement specifying a different arrangement with regard to what and how much they will inherit.
- You provided for the spouse (by name) in the will and specified how much of what assets they will inherit.
- You stated specifically in the will that your spouse will not inherit your estate.
You Got Divorced
As with a marriage, a divorce can change many aspects of your life. And very few people will want their ex-spouse to inherit their assets. Now is a good time to update your will. In addition, if you have minor children you can specify your wishes for child custody or guardianship. Talk to an estate attorney about establishing a guardianship and possibly a trust for your children in the event that you pass away before they come of age.
You Added a Child
Whether you gave birth or adopted a child, your will can provide for their future. Minor children cannot own property even if they inherit it through your will. It’s important, therefore, to establish a trust on their behalf as part of your estate planning. An estate planning attorney can do this for you and explain possible tax saving options that you can take advantage of as well.
You Purchased a Major Asset
If you recently invested in valuable property, you should have your will include who is going to inherit that asset. Major purchases are items such as:
- A house and/or land
- Recreational vehicle
- Expensive paintings, jewelry, high-end memorabilia
Contact Us for Assistance
Creating or updating a will does not have to be a stressful experience. Our attorneys have helped many clients of all ages and backgrounds who wanted to share their legacy with loved ones. We can help you too. Call our office today for an appointment with a knowledgeable and friendly estate planning attorney.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Yee Law Group for their insight into writing a will.