As you get older (and hopefully wiser) you might begin to wonder when Is the right time to make a will. Here’s the cliff notes on everything you need to know to make good choices.
Making a will is something most people don’t want to think about. For some, it is a morbid reminder that their days on earth are numbered. Others, however, think that a will is too complicated to make. Or they might think that they don’t have a significant number of properties to leave behind.
After all, you can never be too sure of what will happen in the future.
With a will in place, you get to control how your estate is distributed among your loved ones when you pass away. As a result, you avoid confusion among family members. A will also add a layer of security against individuals who are thinking to contest it – without basis – or take advantage of any properties you leave behind.
As you might know, I’m a bestselling author, award winning designer and happiness researcher. I wrote a book called Happy Habits.
In my research, I learned a lot about how to make sure you develop positive habits which lead to your best life – by embracing specific principles of “habit formation.”
In this article I will be sharing the specific habits needed to make a will – even when you’re not in the emotional space to move forward with creating a will.
Is there an ideal time to do a will? Generally, an individual who is already 18 years old and above can create a will. However, most people at that age are still busy building or creating their wealth. Ideally, there are key life events that mark the right time to make a will. These are listed below.
When you start a business, you have to ensure it can continue operating – even in the event of your untimely demise. Therefore, right after starting a business, it’s advisable to make a will and detail your succession plan.
You can institute a family member to take over the business operations. Or you can appoint a trusted person to perform the duty. It would be best if you can also detail the shares of your business. Be sure to spell out who gets to control what. This way, you avoid any conflict in the operations and day to day management of the company—even after your death.
Marriage is also a contract. If you and your spouse are not keen on getting a pre-nuptial agreement, then chances are, both of your properties are merged into one (as a communal property regime).
This could also depend on the laws of your state. But in most areas, the default property regime is communal if the couple did not execute a pre-nuptial agreement. Naturally, getting married would change the status, size, and nature of your properties. Therefore, creating a will (or revising your old will) is necessary to include all the new properties gained during your marriage.
For most people, purchasing a home is without a doubt, the biggest investment they’ll make in their lives. This shouldn’t come as a surprise because buying a house considerably alters your net worth. Therefore, it is logical to draft a new will right after buying a new home and name your heirs (if any).
Like death, no one really looks forward to getting divorced or separated from a spouse. However, it is a reality for some couples. And just like marriage, getting a divorce will also affect your estate and net worth. Depending on the pre-nuptial agreement (if any) or community property regime between you and your spouse, a divorce could either add or subtract some properties from your estate. Therefore, you need to do another round of inventory and update your will or make a new one accordingly.
If you live in a state where the law has apportioned legitime for your descendants, then you would be assured that even without a will, your kids will get a good portion of the properties you leave behind. However, not all states or countries follow this rule. So, to be sure, you must make a will when you have children.
Even if your area has laws on legitime, making a will is still beneficial if you really want to control how much and which portion should each of your child get from your estate. If your children are still young, you can also appoint a trusted person to be their guardian through your will. This is a good way to secure their future and is a good contingency plan aside from having life insurance.
Writing a will is something that’s often overlooked by many people who deem it daunting or unnecessary. However, this legal document is crucial to ensure that your estate is distributed properly among your loved ones.
There are key life events that call for the making or updating of a will. This includes starting your own business, getting married, purchasing a home, filing a divorce, and when you have children.