“When should I create a Will?” I would love to attribute this quote to just one person; however, I am repeatedly asked this question. People tend to put off estate planning for a variety of reasons, but getting started early will only give you more power and control.
Let’s say you were offered the chance to invest in Amazon when it was $1.00 a share, would you do it? With the benefit of hindsight, of course you would, but hindsight is 20-20 and you will never get that opportunity back. Creating an estate plan, or even just a basic Will, gives you the benefit of hindsight. You can change your Will anytime you want, so long as you remain competent to do so. A properly executed Will guarantees that should something unexpected happen, your assets will be distributed in accordance with your current wishes. If those wishes change, you can easily update your Will.
My wife and I created our Wills when we were only 30 years old. I put myself through the “Hit By a Bus” analysis. While this is about as fun as it sounds, it is a useful and short exercise.
There is only one question, “If I get hit by a bus today, am I sure all of my assets are going to the people or organizations I want them to go to?”
If you pass without a Will, your assets will be distributed by the laws of “Intestate” succession. Please click this link and let me know if these laws look like an easy area for your heirs, who likely have little or no legal training, to understand. Of equal importance, this process can end up being more expensive and less exacting than creating a plan from the beginning. MarketWatch, a financial planning website, published an article on the importance of having a will even if you are not “rich”.
Our Estate Planning team is headed by Bob Raftice and his almost 30 years of experience. We recommend looking at your Will after major life events (i.e. a wedding, a new baby, divorce etc.), or once every five years. This does not mean you have to change your Will; rather, the question is, does that life event, or the passage of time, cause you to view your plans and current Will differently.
If you would like an initial estate planning consultation, or to have us do a review of your existing plan, please contact us below.