Who Needs a Will?

May 22, 2014

Many people are remiss when it comes to estate planning. Researchers typically find that most of the people in the United States do not have a last will. This is disturbing, because everyone needs a last will or some other vehicle of asset transfer.

Younger Adults

Estate planning is important for younger adults. The average life span is 78 years, but this does not mean you don’t need a last will until you are 75. You never know what the future holds. People of all ages pass away in accidents every day, and catastrophic illnesses sometimes strike younger people. You should certainly have a last will in place directing the desired transfer of your assets.

Once you become a parent, the need for an estate plan exponentially increases. You have a spouse who is probably relying on your income, and you also have children to think about. If you are going through life without an estate plan as a young parent, you are taking quite a risk.

You should certainly make sure that there will be financial resources available to your loved ones should the unthinkable take place. In addition to this, there is the matter of guardianship if you have dependent children still in the home.

Who would take care of your children if both parents were to pass away together in an accident? You can determine this for yourself if you nominate a potential guardian in your last will.

Living Will

A last will can be used to facilitate the transfer of your monetary resources after you pass away. However, there is another type of will that should be part of your estate plan called a living will.

This type of will has nothing to do with money. With a living will you state your preferences regarding the utilization of life-sustaining measures such as feeding tubes, artificial hydration, and mechanical respiration.

When you have a living will in place your own wishes will be honored if you become incapacitated and unable to communicate. You also take a very difficult decision out of the hands of your loved ones.

Pour-Over Will

It is possible to arrange for the future distribution of your assets through the creation of a revocable living trust. These trusts are very popular, largely because they facilitate efficient asset transfers outside of the legal process of probate.

If you have a revocable living trust, you still need a certain type of will called a pour-over will. It is likely that you will still have some property in your personal possession at the time of your death that was never conveyed into the trust.

In the pour-over will you allow the trust to capture the assets that remained in your personal possession at the time of your death.

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