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When Should You Write a Will?

Published on August 18th, 2017

Estate planning comes with many tasks that are emotionally challenging, and even thinking about writing a will can be anxiety-inducing for many people. But it should not be overlooked, even if you are not at an age or a place in your life where your passing is possible. Preparing for the unexpected means having a will in place; doing so can help your family by alleviating them of at least some of the stress that comes with losing someone they love.

Writing a will can be difficult, but you should know that you can update the document whenever you need to, so do not hesitate to start. Working with an estate planning attorney can make the process of writing a will much more straightforward and legally secure.

Writing and Updating a Will

Ideally, most people should already have a will. But if they do not already have a will, sometimes people are prompted to write or update theirs by major events in their lives. If this is the case for you, do not wait for another life-changing event to follow before you get in touch with an estate planning lawyer Sacramento trusts. These milestones can alter your wishes. Consider contacting an attorney to write or update a will if you have been faced with any of the following occurrences:


There are many changes that occur when you get married, and this can include who is listed in your will. For example, you might have a former spouse included as the inheritor of your assets. Or your state of residence might require you to rewrite your will after getting married or remarried. In such a case, if you do not update your will, it is possible that your spouse would inherit your estate as if you didn’t have a will at all. There are a few exceptions to this parameter:

  1. If you had created a premarital agreement that described a different arrangement
  2. If you provided for your spouse by name in your will as well as how much of your assets he/she would inherit
  3. If it was specifically stated in the will that your spouse would not inherit the estate


Just as when you get married, if you get a divorce, many areas of your life can change. It is a good time to update a will because it’s not likely you desire for your former spouse to inherit your assets. Updating your will can also be timely because you have the opportunity to state your wishes for your children as far as custody and guardianship. You can work with an estate planning attorney about how to establish a trust or guardianship for your children.

Childbirth and Adoption

Providing for your children’s future is important. Giving birth or adopting a child is a smart time to start thinking about including them in your legacy. If you want to leave them any of your property, you should know that they can inherit it through a will, but since they cannot own it until they are no longer minors, it is also necessary to establish a trust for them. Your estate planning lawyer, like an experienced Sacramento estate planning lawyer, can help you walk through this process. An attorney can also highlight tax-related advantages in this situation.

Major Purchases

Investments and purchases of valuable property should be considered in writing a will. You will want to think about who you wish to inherit that property. The following are the kinds of purchases you should think about:

  • Land
  • Houses
  • High-end memorabilia
  • Vehicles, including automobiles, boats and recreational vehicles
  • Expensive paintings or jewelry

Contact an Attorney for Guidance

The process of writing or updating your will does not need to be stress-inducing. Our firm has helped a wide range of clients to share their assets with their loved ones, and can help you do the same. Contact us today to make your appointment with an estate planning attorney who has the experience to guide you through this process.

Yee Law Group Thanks to our friends and contributors from Yee Law Group for their insight into writing a will.

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