As a young adult in your 20s or 30s, sometimes the last thing you want to think about is death or planning a funeral for yourself. However, being young doesn’t mean you should wait to write a will, even if you only have a few assets. As an adult, you know what you do and do not like, but your family may not know how you feel about funeral arrangements or distributing your assets. Simply put, without a will, you have no say over what happens to your belongings and your body after you are gone.
Consider the following when creating your will:
Time. It can take as little as an hour to write a will and make your funeral wishes known.
Funeral planning. In addition to considering how your belongings will be distributed, it’s a good idea to put your thoughts on funeral arrangements down on paper. Planning a funeral in advance can help save your family a lot of stress and grief.
Need for a lawyer. Depending on where you live, you may not need a lawyer to create a legal, handwritten (holographic) will on your own. Ask an estate lawyer about your state’s laws.
Who to tell. When you write a will, it is a good idea to tell your spouse or partner about the document. Additionally, tell the person you appointed as the executor of the will. Depending on your relationship with them, it can also be beneficial to tell your parents and/or siblings that you wrote a will, particularly if you have specified any funeral arrangements they should know about.
Where to keep your will. Even if you have a lawyer help you create a will, you should keep a copy of it in more than one place. Good locations to keep a will include a fireproof safe in your home, with the appointed executor, and in a safety deposit box.
Writing a will is not just about funeral planning or deciding who gets your belongings. It is also about protecting your family and making sure a responsible person carries out your last wishes.
[ photo by: Ken_Mayer ]