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At What Age Should You Make a Will?

Everyone knows that death is inevitable. If you are lucky, you will live to an old age with few medical concerns. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the average life expectancy in the United States is 76 years old. As you approach old age, you will certainly want to have a will, but at what age should you have a will in place? Regardless of your age, it may be in your best interest to make a will. There are many factors that you can consider when deciding whether you should make a will.

Reasons to Make a Will

A will is a legal document that provides instructions regarding the handling of your estate after your death. Any adult over the age of 18 should consider making a will. It is important to realize that a will is not just for the wealthy. Here are some of the reasons you may want to make a will.

  • To provide instructions to your family. Your loved ones may not know your wishes when it comes to what to do if you were to die. A will gives clear and concise details that will make it easier on your family members.
  • If you have an important piece of property, you will want to create a will. If you own a family heirloom, you will want to make sure that it stays in the family. A will gives you the opportunity to ensure that the heirloom goes where you feel it belongs.
  • When you have a pet, you want to be sure that it is properly cared for if you pass away. The best way to make certain that your pet will find its way to a loving home with a trusted friend or relative is to put specific instructions in a will.
  • A will can help to prevent probate. If you have a will, your relatives may not need to go through the probate process. This could save them time and money. If you die without a will, the law requires probate.
  • A will allows you to instruct your beneficiaries on how to distribute your property or assets if you die. You can provide instructions for exactly who will receive what property after your death.
  • If you have a complex family makeup, it is best to have a will. Otherwise, state law mandates the distribution of property, and this may not always be in line with your wishes. If you have any changes to your beneficiaries, be sure to reflect that in your will.
  • If you wish to leave some of your assets to a charity, you will need to do so in your will. A will gives you the opportunity to name people or entities which will be the recipients of your assets.
  • When you are a member of the police or of the military, it is best to have a will in place. A will gives you peace of mind that your loved ones will be properly cared for according to your wishes in the unlikely event of your death.

Nobody likes to think about their own death, yet it is always in your best interest to prepare for the future. Even young people who don’t have a lot of assets should still have a will in place to give instructions to their loved ones. To learn more about wills and to seek legal guidance, contact us at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. at (608) 784-8310 or online.

Published July 24, 2023
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