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When Should You Draft a Will?

Posted on in Estate Planning

Lombard estate planning attorneyIt is understandable that many people are put off by the idea of sitting down and creating a will. Doing so requires a person to face the reality that he or she will not live forever. While this is something that we all know, it is often much easier to avoid confronting the idea in a direct way. Perhaps that is why as many as 60 percent of American adults have yet to draft a will or other elements of an estate plan. You should know, however, that by taking the time to write up your will, you could save your surviving family members a great deal of stress, aggravation, and money down the road.

At the risk of sounding cliché, the right time to draft a will is now. Every adult should have a written plan for what will happen to his or her property—no matter how simple or modest the estate may be—upon his or her death. That being said, there are certain events in a person’s life that should prompt him or her to think about the future and draft a will. If you already have a will, these same events should encourage you to review your will to make sure that it is up to date.

Obtaining New Property and Changes in a Financial Situation

In the absence of other estate planning instruments, such as trusts, your will should address all of the assets the comprise your estate. Otherwise, it may be difficult for your executor to figure out how to divide the property among your beneficiaries. Therefore, it is important for you to keep your will current, especially if you have recently acquired new assets or taken on new debt.

For example, if one of your loved ones recently died and you received a large inheritance of your own, your financial situation may be dramatically different than it was a few years ago. Your will should reflect this new reality so that your heirs can benefit from the changes too.

Marriage and Divorce

Few institutions have the ability to change a person’s financial situation like marriage or divorce. A marriage, of course, represents the combining of the lives of two people and the creation of a marital estate. Your will, therefore, should be updated so that any considerations you wish to give to your spouse can be properly recorded.

On the end of the spectrum, divorce represents the severing of a bond between two people. While there are laws in place to prevent your ex-spouse from inheriting your assets, you should still take the time to assign such property to a different heir.

Consider Your Children

A will that was created before you had children is probably very outdated. You most likely want to include your children in your will, but that will not happen without taking action. Writing a new will after having children is an important step in providing for their future—and for more than just financial reasons. Your will can even designate a guardian for your children should something happen to you while they are still minors.

Let Us Help

At A. Traub & Associates, we provide responsible, trusted guidance in the creation of wills and all other estate planning tools. Contact one of our experienced Lombard wills and trusts attorneys to get the help you need. Call 630-426-0196 for a confidential consultation today.

 

Sources:

http://www.aarp.org/money/investing/info-2017/half-of-adults-do-not-have-wills.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/deborahljacobs/2012/08/09/when-should-you-redo-your-will/


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