Have you ever considered writing a will, but wondered if you are too young to need one? You are not alone – many people think they can put off writing a will until they are older. Unfortunately, none of us knows how long we will live, and the end sometimes comes before we have a chance to get our affairs in order.
A will is an important legal document that expresses your wishes after your death. Your will describes how you want to distribute your assets, for example, and who you would want to act as guardians for your minor children.
Young adults are more likely to make a will than ever before. In fact, a recent survey found that 18 to 34 year-olds are more likely to have a will than are those 35 to 50 years old. The rise in wills among young adults is very recent, with the number of young adults with wills increasing by 63 percent since 2020. Many of these young will-makers said that the COVID pandemic was the reason they began taking estate planning seriously.
The law allows anyone ages 18 and over to make a will. But are you too young to make a will? Probably not.
Making your first will is often easier when you are young, before you are married, have a family, or own large amounts of valuable assets. Creating a simple will introduces you to the terminology used in wills and trusts, and an opportunity to learn the steps in making a will; these are valuable lessons that can benefit you over the course of your lifetime. In the event of accidental death, a will also designates a personal representative who can pursue a wrongful death claim.
You are the right age to make a will if you are over the age of 18 and one or more of the following is true about you:
If just one of the above things is currently true or you expect them to be true within the near future, you do need a will. Even if you do not have a large family or have a great deal of money, your assets have not come easily and you want to have control over what happens to what you do have. Having a will puts you in charge of your assets and helps your family manage your assets after your death.
A will is not a one-and-done document – you should update your will periodically to ensure it reflects your current assets and desires on their distribution. Creating a will at a young age gives you a solid foundation on which to build a lifetime of re-evaluation and planning.
For more information on making a will, contact your Sonoma County lawyer. Mr. Charles Stark focuses on wills & trusts, estate planning, and probate in Sonoma County.