We tend to think of wills as something to focus on when you’re nearing the end of your life, but thoughtful estate planning can come in handy at any age, even when you’re just beginning your adult life and think you don’t have much to leave behind.
What to include in your will?
What to include in your will usually depends on where you are in life, how many assets you’ve accumulated, and who you’re responsible for when you’re gone. If you’re 18 or in your early 20s and your only property consists of an X-box and a few cases of Redbull, a will is probably the furthest thing from your mind. And, you’re right: You probably don’t need a standard will.
But, that doesn’t mean you are off the hook for legacy planning. Think about all of your digital assets: your Facebook and Instagram profiles, the money in your Paypal account, all of the online stores that have access to your credit card information. You may not have much property to pass on, but how will you leave these assets if you suddenly die or become unable to access them yourself? Consider formally setting up a digital executor who can protect and maintain your digital legacy when you are gone. This person would need to know what all of your digital assets are and would be empowered to maintain these accounts for you when you no longer can.
When you’re 30, you might be newly engaged or married and a will for you and your spouse will help efficiently transfer assets if one of you passes away. Maybe you’ve bought a house or a car or two. This is the time to start making a list of your assets and thinking about where you want them to go when both of you are gone.
By 35, you may have a couple of kids. You will certainly need a will; you don’t want your spouse to end up in probate court because you never formalized your estate plans. In addition to dividing up property between your heirs, you’ll want to consider who can take care of your children if you and your spouse are no longer able to do so.
Even if you aren’t married and don’t have kids by 35, you likely have more assets than you did at 20. Perhaps you’d like to donate some of your property or wealth to a charity or institution. Or maybe you own something with lots of sentimental value you want to pass on to a specific niece or nephew. Creating a will and setting up beneficiaries will help your loved ones sort out your estate when you’re gone.
By 50, you may want to take a look at any previous wills you’ve created and revise them. Perhaps you are in a second marriage and you need to change the language of your will to reflect where you now want your property transferred after death. Think of pivotal moments in your life, like the birth of a child or the death of a beneficiary, as a reminder to create or update your estate plans.
Helpful Will Services in Pasadena
At whatever age you decide to develop a will, talk to an attorney who specializes in estate planning and can plan for everything from your physical property to your digital assets. If you are looking for will services in Pasadena, get in touch with the experienced team at the Law Office of Christopher B. Johnson.