I encourage you that no matter what season of life this is for you that you either get a will or update your current will if there have been major life or law changes since you made your last one. You may be young and unmarried or young and married with no kids and think you don’t need a will because you don’t have much financially or physically, but in the unlikely event of your premature passing it will make life easier for your family and less complicated legally if you have a will.
One of my first days in estate planning class in college our professor said something like, “If you don’t have a will, the state has one for you, so if you don’t like the one the state has, then you better get your own prepared.”. If you die without a will it is called dying intestate. If you Google for your state, you can see what your state’s distribution plan is if you have no will.
If you have children, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of having a will to make your wishes known about the care of your children – even if you see yourself as having very limited financial means.
If you are older and already have a will, it is very wise to review and possibly update it when major life changes happen such as divorce, remarriage, tax law changes, the last child becoming of legal age or any other significant life events.
If you have designated guardians for your children and they move or have a major life change themselves where they might not be your preferred guardians anymore it’s wise to update your will.
Other things to consider are living wills and health care powers of attorney. These can be very complex – and in some ways I found the decisions more emotional and legally complex than my will – because you are designating what you want to happen in your own health care crisis or end of life decisions. Be sure to research your options carefully by reading and having detailed talks with an attorney.
Yes, I know this is not a fun topic and at times in life I have gotten behind the eight ball in reviewing my will because I really did not want to face the possibility of my own mortality. When I know I have things up to date I feel good knowing that things will be smoother for my family if this part of my life is in order.