Creating a will doesn’t have to mean you are nearing the end of your life. In fact, the best time to create a will is when you are still rather young, and in good health. Though it may seem stressful, by creating a will early on, you are actually alleviating future stress from yourself and your loved ones. Creating a will is a way in which you can provide order and ensure safety and security for the future of those in your life. It can offer you peace of mind you weren’t even aware you needed. Consulting with an experienced professional such as the Estate Planning Attorney Scottsdale AZ locals have been trusting for years.
There are major landmarks that especially call for the creation or revision of a will. Because a will can be revised at any time during your life, it may be easier managed by creating one early on. This ensures that:
- You become gradually familiarized with the process
- You only need to worry about adding to or revising the will as necessary, rather than all at once
- If something were to happen early on, your existing assets and wishes would be in order
In any case, an estate planning attorney can help make the process very straightforward. Typically, you should meet with an attorney every five years, as well as in the event of a major milestone that may spur revisions or the creation of the will. These are listed below:
Assets and Investments
As soon as you have established assets or investments of significant worth, you should:
- Meet with an estate planning attorney and, if you haven’t already, write a detailed will.
- Clearly state in your will who you would like to inherit your assets, investments and estate.
- Provide a detailed plan for how you would like them to be handled, especially in the case of recent large investments.
- Meet with an attorney to revise your will for every newly acquired asset or investment.
These assets and investments may include real estate, cars and other belongings of great value. Without taking the proper measures, these assets could become a huge legal burden for your loved ones.
Marriage is another milestone that will require a will or revisions to an existing will, as you may gain assets or want to add your spouse to the will. In the event of an additional marriage, many states may require you to revise an existing will. Otherwise, your previous spouse(s) may be allowed to inherit your estate as if you never even had a will. The exceptions to this law are:
- Your spouse is listed in the will along with exactly how much they will inherit.
- You state in your will that your spouse is prohibited from inheriting your assets/investments.
- Another arrangement is specified in a premarital agreement.
One of the most important milestones in life and specifically to the will process is ensuring your heirs and/or children receive your estate or assets, and are properly cared for. Here are important steps you should take as a parent writing a will:
- With an estate planning attorney, include your children in your will and specify what you intend each child to inherit.
- If they are minors, they cannot legally own property, so you should set up a trust fund where your large assets would remain until your children reach the appropriate age to receive them.
- Appoint, very carefully and with proper consideration, whom you would like to care for your children in the event that alternative guardianship is needed.
A special thanks to our authors at Arizona Estate Planning for their insight into Estate and Probate Law.