Creating a will is a crucial step in ensuring that your assets and wishes are protected and executed as intended after your passing. Many people delay making a will, often due to misconceptions or discomfort associated with contemplating their own mortality. However, determining the best time to do a will is not a matter of waiting for the perfect moment, but rather recognizing key life events and milestones that should prompt you to take action.
Here are 7 Life Transitions that warrant consideration for drafting your will. The best time to do a will is probably with the onset of children. Bringing children into the family delivers other important factors to consider beyond the disbursement of assets.
When You Acquire Significant Assets
One of the most common triggers for creating a will is acquiring significant assets. As you accumulate wealth, property, or investments, having a will in place becomes essential to outline how these assets should be distributed among your loved ones.
Regardless of your age, if you own valuable properties or have considerable savings, it’s time to prepare a will to safeguard your family’s financial future. The will helps you avoid tax pitfalls or other problems that may lead to your assets being passed on in ways you would not desire.
Upon Marriage or Entering a Long-Term Partnership
Marriage or entering a long-term partnership is a momentous occasion that often prompts people to consider their future as a couple. In this stage of life, it’s prudent to create a will that reflects your shared aspirations and addresses how joint and individual assets will be managed if one spouse or partner passes away.
A will can provide peace of mind and legal clarity for both parties. A will is how you best protect your spouse and make sure that individual receives everything you want them to receive.
After Having Children
Becoming a parent is a life-altering event that brings newfound responsibilities and obligations. Creating a will becomes crucial at this juncture, as it allows you to designate guardians for your children in the event of your untimely demise. As noted above, this makes this the most important time to do a will.
Without a will, the court will make this decision for you, which may not align with your wishes or preferences. By establishing a will, you can ensure your children are cared for by the individuals you trust most. You also ensure that your assets are used to care for your children.
When Facing Serious Health Concerns
While contemplating one’s mortality due to health concerns can be difficult, it is essential to face such realities to protect your loved ones. If you receive a serious medical diagnosis or are facing health challenges that may impact your life expectancy, creating or updating your will should be a priority. Doing so ensures your wishes are known and can ease the burden on your family during difficult times.
When Major Life Changes Occur
Life is full of unexpected twists and turns. Major life events such as divorce, the passing of a loved one, or a significant career change can have a profound impact on your financial and personal circumstances. During these times, it’s crucial to reevaluate and update your will to reflect your current situation accurately.
Before Engaging in Risky Activities
Engaging in high-risk activities or embarking on adventurous endeavors can be exhilarating but also comes with inherent dangers. If you participate in activities such as extreme sports, dangerous hobbies, or risky ventures, it is wise to have a will in place.
This proactive step ensures that your wishes are carried out should the unthinkable occur. You should consider a will anyway, but if your untimely demise has greater possibilities, it is prudent to take action first.
Regularly Review and Update Your Will
Even if you have created a will, it’s not a “one and done” document. Life is ever-changing, and so are your circumstances. It is crucial to review and update your will periodically or after significant life events to ensure it remains accurate and aligned with your current wishes.
Reviewing your will every few years or whenever a major change occurs in your life is a responsible approach to maintaining its relevance. One of the key considerations is when children grow and achieve milestones like their 18th birthdays, graduating college, or getting married. Each of these life events is worth examining your will to see if you are interested in changes.
In conclusion, the best time to do a will is not a specific date or age, but rather a series of key life events and moments that remind us of the importance of planning for our future and the well-being of our loved ones. Whether you have accumulated significant assets, gotten married, become a parent, or are facing health concerns, it is essential to take action promptly.
A will is a powerful tool that empowers you to control the legacy you leave behind, providing peace of mind and security for you and your family. Don’t delay; the best time to do a will is now.