The idea of writing a will can be pretty intimidating, but it is crucial that you keep in mind how important it is for you and your loved ones as well. The grief that will come with losing a family member is difficult enough to deal with as is; making it so that your family does not have to guess what your wishes were can alleviate even a little bit of it. No matter what your circumstances are, making a will is something you should consider. It will resolve conflict that can emerge from your family not knowing how to divide your assets. Age and health should not be a determining factor in creating a will, as unexpected events can always occur. It’s important to be honest about who you would and would not like to include, and remember that your will can be updated at anytime. If you work with an estate planning attorney, the process can be much smoother and easier to navigate, and legally sound.
When Should You Write Your Will?
There are a few varieties of milestones that tend to prompt people to write or update a will. Perhaps you are dealing with such life events and already have a will, which is ideal. If not, though, you should not hesitate to contact an experienced professional such as the Estate Planning Attorney Scottsdale AZ clients can trust to get started. Life-changing events can change the way you think about your final wishes. If you’re in the midst of any of the following situations, seriously consider contacting attorney to write or update your will.
You Are Getting Married
Getting married will inarguably change many areas of your life, including who will be part of your will. For example, if you have been married previously or in a long-term relationship, your last partner might still be the one cited to inherit your assets. Updating your will is important in that case. Depending on the state where you live, you may also be required to rewrite your will after getting married. In states where that is the law, if you do not rewrite your will, it is possible that your spouse could inherit your estate as if you did not have a will at all.
That said, there are a few possible exceptions to consider. This may not apply if:
1. A premarital agreement specified a different arrangement as to what and how much your spouse will inherit.
2. The will provided for your spouse by name and stated specifically how much of your assets would be inherited.
3. The will clearly noted that your spouse would not inherit your estate.
You Have (Or Adopt) a Child
Giving birth to or adopting a child means you should make sure you provide for his or her future. If your assets include property, your children can inherit it through your will, but if they are minors, they cannot own it. Establishing a trust should thus be part of your estate planning. An estate planning attorney can help you complete this process, as well as guide you through potential tax-saving options you may have.
You Are Getting Divorced
Divorce can also change many aspects of your life; the main change is that you likely will no longer want your ex-spouse to inherit your assets. Updating your will is crucial to making this change. If you have minor children, you should also write your wishes for their custody or guardianship into the will. Talking to an estate attorney about establishing a guardianship as well as a trust for your children is a helpful step when considering the possibility of your passing away before they come of age.
You Make a Major Purchase
Any recent investments or major purchases of property should be considered when writing a will. You will want to note who is to inherit those assets. These purchases can include the following:
- Houses and land
- Vehicles, including cars and boats
- Art and jewelry
- Recreational vehicles
- Valuable collectibles and memorabilia
Contact An Attorney Today
Writing your will does not need to be highly stressful. Contact an attorney to start the process today!
A special thanks to our authors at Arizona Estate Planning for their insight into Estate Law.