How Old Should I Be To Get A Will?
The best time to get a will has less to do with your age and more to do with other factors, like your health, assets, and whether you have loved ones or family members who are dependent on you or who you wish to provide for. In other words, it’s not about a timeline, but about whether you have assets or an estate and wishes for how it is to be dispersed upon your death. If you have only minimal assets or no regard for what happens to them, then you may be fine going without a will, however most people do not fall into that category. While it’s totally understandable that most people would want to wait until the last possible minute to deal with making a will, procrastinating could cost them the ability to do so at all.
Why Not to Wait to Make a Will
There are no guarantees in life. Knowing exactly what age you need to get a will would also require knowing the exact age that you will live until, which fortunately or unfortunately, is not information anyone can have. The longer you wait, the more you leave to fate. The first time you find yourself wondering when you should get a will is probably the best time to get one, since you’re never guaranteed to have another. It is particularly important to draft a will if you have a business, a large or complex estate, assets (such as a home, bank accounts, retirement accounts, cars, personal effects, etc.), trusts, or dependents. This is especially important if the people to whom you wish to leave your estate would not be favored by the intestate succession statutes.
What Happens if I Don’t Make a Will
If you don’t make a will, your estate will be settled in accordance with Florida’s intestate succession statutes. This will occur during a process known as probate. Whether or not you have a valid will, your estate will go to probate. The purpose of probate is to settle the debts of the estate and disperse the remaining assets. If there is a valid will, the assets will be distributed in accordance with the instructions left in the will by the testator. Otherwise, they will be distributed based on intestate succession. During this process, beneficiaries may also challenge the validity of the will if they believe it is invalid, fraudulent, or was created under duress or undue influence. The longer the probate process lasts, the longer your loved ones can be left without assets to important things, like the family home or your bank accounts, so it’s best to have a plan in place for this already.
Contact the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray
If you are ready to develop an estate plan that meets your needs, or you need assistance with another estate planning, probate, or undue influence matter, West Palm Beach estate planning lawyer Larry E. Bray is ready to help. Contact the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray today to schedule a consultation.