There are a variety of reasons why someone should create a Will sooner rather than later— most are typically associated with the top life events the majority of us will face in our lifetime. While everyone over the age of 18 should have a Will, there are certain major life changes that definitely warrant the need for early estate planning, or as we also like to call it: estate BUILDING.
So, what exactly warrants the need for early estate building? In the absence of a Last Will and Testament, the probate courts will reference local laws and make important decisions for you and your family based on what they think is best. That’s right, we said the courts will decide FOR you. Trust us...with these monumental moments in your life, you’ll definitely want to make sure you’re in control!
Here are the top 7 life events that cause people to create a Will NOW!
One of the biggest milestones in one's life is turning 18 and officially becoming a legal adult. You’re moving out, going to college, and have newfound freedom! But with freedom comes responsibility. As an adult, you are now in control of your own life and are responsible for making big decisions of your own.
Typically when we think of big decisions, we don’t think about early estate planning. You’re young, healthy and most likely have nothing to your name. However, #adulting isn’t just about your stuff. Adulting is about taking control of your own life decisions and being prepared for your future in the case of an accident.
In the event that you are incapable of speaking for yourself, in a coma, for example, you have the ability to choose who will represent your wishes medically and financially in your Will. Not only does this let you take control of your life and what happens next, but it also removes the burdens from your family from having to decide what’s best. If you do not have a Will that specifies your exact wishes when you pass or when you become ill, the courts will decide who speaks on your behalf or where your belongings go when you die. A Will that specifically notes every last detail about your wishes will make it so much easier for your family to get through this already difficult time.
Congratulations! Buying a house is a huge step in life and investment in general. If you’re a first-time home-owner and this is your first high-value asset, you probably have never thought about creating a Will. Because a house is such a huge asset, ensuring your home is passed down to the person you want should be a priority. While the rules vary by state, if you don’t have a Will, intestate succession determines the inheritor of the home if you were to pass.
If you just bought your home, and don't own it outright, you can start here with Epic Will. While Epic Will is a great resource for getting started, at some point we highly recommend you connect with an Estate Planning Attorney to properly put your home into a Trust. Don't just rely on an online Will company who tells you it's simple—you'll still need to eventually consult a lawyer to put your house's Deed into a Trust in your County or Parish.
Married, divorced, widowed, you may be feeling a world of different emotions as this is a huge change in your life! This may be the first time you've thought about creating a Will or it may have been something you’ve never considered before, regardless, the best time to start is now.
Whether you’re getting married, getting divorced, recently widowed, separated, have a common-law marriage, etc. creating a Will is definitely something you’ll want to create (or update) to make sure your decisions are up to date now that more people are involved. Changes in your marital status may cause major financial changes in your life and play a significant role in the distribution of your estate. In addition, a change in marital status can also mean a change in the role of your partner’s (or previous partner’s) involvement in your life. You may need to select a new Health Care or Financial Power of Attorney or make decisions on who should receive what assets, for example. Nothing should be assumed.
Another major life event that warrants a Will is when you have a baby, adopt or foster a child. Having a Will that legally appoints a guardian for your child is something we recommend you do before your new addition arrives. It’s your responsibility to take care of your child(ren), and that means making sure they have the future you’ve always wanted them to have.
In the event of your death, the state will decide who is best qualified to take care of your child if you don’t have a Will. Oftentimes who you think is the best fit, and who the state thinks is the best fit, do not always line up. Be sure to create a Will and appoint a legal guardian now so you can protect your child’s future.
Don’t forget about your fur baby too! For many young adults who think “I don’t have any assets,” but believe it or not, your precious doggy also needs a “pet-guardian” appointed in case something were to ever happen to you.
Life is unpredictable and people can become unexpectedly sick at any time. In the past year, the pandemic has shown us that we are human and our next breath is not guaranteed. If you get sick, the absolute last thing you want to be thinking about is rushing to write your Will if your health continues to struggle.
When we think of Wills we immediately think it’s for people with high-value assets, but it also includes Health Care Power of Attorneys and Financial Power of Attorneys who can help make medical and financial decisions on your behalf in the case you’re unable to do so for yourself.
If you become ill (BEFORE you become ill) create a Will so you can have peace of mind that your medical and financial wishes are carried out. Ensure your family, friends, pets, and property are taken care of in advance, and take some pressure off yourself by getting ahead and writing your Will while you are young and healthy.
A change in assets can mean a lot of different things: buying a secondary home, an increase in cash, purchasing or selling a business, buying a car, a rise in stocks and bonds, you name it. Regardless of the change, or how small or large the asset is, it’s important that you create a legally binding Will to protect what happens to your assets if you were to pass.
In a Will, you can name beneficiaries (the people who will inherit the items you name) to ensure your assets are passed on as you intend. For example, your daughter might be able to inherit your favorite necklace from you, or your furniture from your apartment might be passed down to your girlfriend who lives with you. Also included in your Will is your "residuary estate," which refers to any assets that are not left to anyone in specific. Additionally, you can name a "residuary beneficiary" who will inherit the remaining assets that have not been left to other beneficiaries.
Large investments are handled by designated beneficiaries or the court if there is no Will. Make sure that your well-thought-out investments, which probably accumulated a fair amount of cash, are not handled by just anyone.
A huge life change that can impact your Will is a state-to-state move. Estate laws vary per state, so being proactive about taking control of your future when moving is important. We recommend looking into how estate laws change when relocating and being proactive about adjusting or rewriting your Will as needed. Having a voice in your future and your estate cannot be left behind when moving.
No matter what the situation, we understand how important it is for you to secure your future and your family’s, so you can be prepared for the unexpected and live every day freely and with purpose knowing that everyone and everything you love most is accounted for.
Here at Epic Will, we’ve thought of everything so you don’t have to. We’ve created a quick and simple way to start preparing your Will online in as little as 5 minutes so you can protect your family, leave your legacy, and live with confidence knowing your final wishes are documented and legally binding.
Create your Will to get started today!
2000 Mallory Lane, Ste 130-181, Franklin, TN 37067
© 2021 Epic Will, LLC. All Rights Reserved
We stand behind our legally valid Wills. They have been created by attorneys with decades of estate planning experience. If you aren’t satisfied, we’ll issue you a full refund, some questions asked!