Multiple studies and surveys conducted throughout the United States have revealed that over 60% of adults do not have a will. When actor Paul Walker passed away in 2013, many fans were surprised that someone so young had a detailed estate plan in place that was created three years after the birth of his only child. The average adult under the age of 40 does not have a will and commonly cited reasons for not having an estate plan include:
- I do not expect anything bad to happen to me;
- I do not have any money to leave anyone;
- Estate planning is too expensive and time-consuming.
Though younger adults could explain why they felt having a will was not vital, few were able to explain what would happen if they did suddenly pass away without leaving any type of estate instructions. Not having an estate plan can create multiple problems after you pass away, making having a will regardless of your age vital.
Protects Your Family
Passing away without leaving any type of will or estate instructions can create major issues for your family during one of the most stressful times in their lives. Funds that you have in the bank, insurance policies that you received from your employer, or other valuable assets that you may not realize you own become inaccessible. Without any type of legal document providing instructions, a relatively small estate could end up in probate. Any money or assets that could help your family pay for funeral or other estates could be tied up for months.
Secures Social Media
Who do you want to have access to your social media or email accounts after you pass away? Without any written instructions left in the form of a will, your family and friends will not know what to do with your accounts. Also, if there is any important information contained in your accounts, not having a will could make it almost impossible for your family to gain access to the information without going through a court.
Remembers Your Friends
If you pass away with no will, your state’s laws determine who has a legal right to your assets. Friends are rarely protected or considered when the court is deciding who receives the property you have left behind. If you have a close friend whom you want to receive certain items that contain a sentimental value, retain access to a shared property, or have money that you have saved, you must create a will and include him or her in it.
Provides for Your Children
Any adult who has a child should create a will to provide stability and protection for your minor children. Without a will, the court decides who to appoint as a guardian and they may select a relative who you would not want raising your children. Creating a basic will that addresses custody issues keeps your children safe when they are most vulnerable.
Take the First Step
Creating an estate plan or living trust is not as complicated or time-consuming as is often believed. The most difficult part is making the first step by reaching out to a trust and estate lawyer for help. The compassionate attorneys at MMZ Law understand that estate planning seems overwhelming to people of all ages. We are prepared to offer you the advice you need and guide you through each stage of estate planning. Contact us today and schedule a consultation at our conveniently located Claremont, California office so that we can begin providing you with the help you need.
BROUGHT TO YOU BY:
MMZ LAW, A PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION
341 W. 1st St. Suite 100
Claremont, CA 91711
MARIVEL M. ZIALCITA is the founder of MMZ LAW, A Professional Corporation, where she practices in the areas of Elder Law – Medi-Cal Planning Asset Protection, Trust & Estate, Special Needs, Conservatorship, Trust Administration, & Probate. Ms. Zialcita is a frequent speaker on trust and estate matters and holds memberships in the State Bar of California, Trust and Estate Section, The San Bernardino County Bar Association, Wealth Counsel and Elder Counsel. She currently assists in the pro bono legal services program at the James L. Brulte Senior Center in Rancho Cucamonga, California. She is based in Claremont but assists clients throughout Southern California.
This information is educational information only and not legal advice.