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Five Reasons to Have a Will…Even if You’re Young with No Kids

By Judge Deborah Faulkner

If you’re in good health and under the age of 40, odds are you think it’s too early to worry about the grim reaper and who should get your property. As morbid as it may sound, some of us don’t make it to old age. Given the curve balls life can throw at us, it is essential to have our affairs in order Still need convincing? Here are five reasons to consider:

1. You own a pet/animals

Many of us these days have animal companions. What about them? Providing food, medical care, and a companion for your furry friend can be done by including a Pet Trust in your Will.

2. You want any of your assets donated to charities, your church, or your school

If you pass without a Will but wanted to donate any of your assets, savings, investments, etc. to a charity or any other cause close to your heart, this won’t happen. Without a Will, your good intentions are just that - intentions. State law has identified the relatives who will inherit from you if you choose not to have a Will.

3. You have a presence on the Internet

Almost everyone these days does. Your email account, your social media accounts, what happens to those? Who do you want in charge of them? If you have important information, photos, memories, etc. on those accounts, you’ll want someone you trust to be able to collect this property and dispose of it in accordance with your Will. You can name this trusted person in your Will and leave instructions on how it should be disbursed.

4. You have a partner with whom you have shared many great years

Even if you are not legally married, you may have a long-term companion, fiancée, or friend. Together you have purchased a house, artwork, a boat, home furnishings etc. At your death, without a Will, your partner will have no right to inherit any of your property that titled solely in your name. In other words, your parents, as the hypothetical heirs to your estate, may have to evict your partner in order to sell your house if it's titled in your name. A valid Will leaving your property to your partner would prevent this result.

5. Your loved ones will speak ill of you while they are “tied up in Probate Court”.

I love my job and what I get to do each day. But, I also understand the stress that can come when a family member dies without their affairs in order. Generally, a Will avoids legal expenses because court approval isn’t required for selling property. Also, without a Will, delay and legal expenses can be incurred just to find the brother who the law says gets your property. Even if you don’t get along and may not have seen him in 15 years. Having a Will saves time, money, and additional stress.

So spend a few hours with an attorney to create a Will that spells out your wishes. Your loved ones will thank you.

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