If you are over the age of 18, you own property or have children, you should consider drafting a will.
Once you are over 18 years old and you own any property and/or have children, you need to consider preparing a Will and other estate planning documents. There are sad cases where a distraught parent who has suffered the loss of a young adult child, must also go through the administrative process of being appointed to handle the estate. They are saddled with transferring bank accounts, automobiles, or other property. These tasks can be extremely burdensome to a parent during this time of loss. A will provides a great deal of comfort at a difficult time.
A Will and other estate planning documents can protect your loved ones and your assets:
- If you have young children and you die without a will, someone may have to make an application to the court to be named their guardian and/or trustee. A will allows you to designate the right person — not just any relative who steps forward and may be a stranger to your children.
- If you die without a will, you may have lost the ability to utilize important tax saving devices that would reduce estate taxes.
While preparing for death is important to your family, it is also just as important to plan for a disability or for serious health care decisions. By preparing a Power of Attorney you can designate who can make decisions for you if you are incapacitated. You can decide what health care you want or appoint someone to make those decisions for you by preparing a Living Will (also known as an Advanced Medical Directive. Should you become incapacitated, it will be too late to draw up these documents.