a young couple talking about their will

Do I Need a Will?

This is a question you may be asking yourself, especially if you are young and healthy. We answer this question often by asking a few more questions to help you determine if you need a will.

  1. Are you 18 or older?
  2. Do you own or have interest in any property like a car, house or boat?
  3. Do you have savings, a life insurance policy, or other assets?

If you are 18 or older and answered yes to either of the other two questions, then yes, you need a will. If you are 18 but still living in your parent’s home without any assets or savings, you can wait until you can answer yes to either question.

Why You Need a Will

To put it simply, a will protects your assets. You choose who inherits your belongings after your debts are paid. It does not matter how old you are or how healthy you are, accidents happen. When someone dies without a will their property goes into intestate distribution and the process of settling your estate takes much longer than it would if you had prepared for it. You do not want to leave your grieving family with an additional burden because you did not think that you did not need a will.

You Should Also Have a Living Will and Power of Attorney

When you speak with an estate planning attorney, they will likely ask you about a living will (also called an advance directive) and medical power of attorney. A living will helps your family know what your wishes are regarding types of medical treatments. This includes life support, resuscitation, and experimental treatments to name a few. A power of attorney can be narrow, for example allowing someone to act on your behalf medically. It can also be more wide-reaching allowing someone to make medical, financial, and personal property decisions at any time. Make sure you are comfortable with the access you grant the person to whom you give power of attorney. These documents together help your family and loved ones know and follow your wishes.

Call Wagstaff & Pitelis for All Your Estate Planning Needs

Whether you are young and single with just a few assets or married with children, the experienced team at Wagstaff & Pitelis is here to help. We want everyone to have an end of life plan even if they expect the end of their life is decades away. And, if your life has significantly changed (marriage, divorce, children) since your will was drawn up, contact us at (727) 584-8182 to revise it. You can also fill out our online form and we will call you.