The question of who needs a will is age-old. Many people in St. Louis view any sort of estate planning as something left to the elderly or people who have children. In truth, however, everyone can benefit from having a will — including young people.
Why you need a will
If you are young, not married, not wealthy or don’t have children, chances are you may not see the need for a will. Without significant assets or dependents, why would you?
The answer to that question is simple: A will allows you to express your wishes clearly and legally about how you would like the assets you do have to be handled when you are no longer here to do so.
What happens if you die without a will?
If something unexpected happens to you, and you do not have a will, a court will decide what happens to your belongings. Typically, your assets will go to your closest relatives, which may be your parents or siblings. What you have to think about is whether that is what you want.
What can go into a will?
A will can be as complex or simple as you want. A will allows you to address the obvious issue of how you would like your assets to be handled after you pass away. If you don’t want your assets to go to your next of kin, you can decide to bequeath them to others.
Maybe you have a close friend who is like a family member. You could leave something to him or her. Or maybe you have a savings account that could help your little brother pay off his student loans. You can specify that in your will. Perhaps you are passionate about a certain charitable cause. Having a will allows you to leave a portion of your assets to that charity.
In today’s digital world, a will can even include passwords to your various online accounts, so they can be properly addressed.
Making life easier for your loved ones
A will is very personal, but it is also a tool used to protect your loved ones from having to make difficult decisions about your assets. When family members disagree on how assets should be handled, it can cause a lot of tension.
By writing a will now, you can make those decisions on your own. All your loved ones will need to do is follow your instructions.
How an attorney can help
While it is true that there are many do-it-yourself options available for wills, having an experienced attorney guide you through the process can be invaluable. One small mistake in a will can cause serious problems down the road. Your attorney can make sure you understand which types of wills are available, which best suit your situation, and ensure your final document will be upheld in court.