Most people in their twenties do not consider getting a will to be high on their list of priorities. That is understandable. However, there are many reasons why you should consider having a will. Here are the most important ones:
- You have a child (whether the child lives with you or not)
- You have any assets (even a bank account, car, or personal items)
- You have debts and they could be negotiated (naming an “Executor” in your will means that this person may get court authority to negotiate with creditors and preserve assets for family)
- You want someone other than your family to inherit from you (Been living with your significant other for years with no “legal” status to your relationship? He or she may get nothing and have to fight your biological family for what you purchased together)
- You don’t want your money to go to the state’s Unclaimed Property Division because no one has legal authority to get it.
- Your situation may change (sure, you may have more debts than assets now, but what if that changes in a few years?)
- You have rights in any part of a business or joint venture (even a side-business with assets and customers)
- You’ve worked hard to get where you are and want to have the ability to make your wishes known.
You may assume that if you were to die, that your assets would automatically go to certain people. But, it may not be that easy. Having a will allows a judge to appoint your Executor to gather the assets and debts. There is a court order and the banks and creditors have to respect and follow it, which means that they need to release information and funds when properly requested to do so.
If you have debts, and debts > assets, it is true that your loved ones may decide not to probate your will, and may just let things alone. But, not always.
A consultation with a wills attorney can give you the information that you need to decide how to deal with your own particular situation.
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