“I am Healthy and Young, Should I Still Consider Making a Will?”
Absolutely yes. The answer is always yes. No matter how young you are, unless you are minor, it is always better to have a will than not. Many young people think that they don’t need a will yet because they do not make enough income, or they do not have a lot of assets. However, if you are like most people, your income will change over time and you will accumulate assets such as retirement savings, your first home, and others. Plus, having a will is not only about things that are high in monetary value. Wills have many purposes, like naming an executor for your estate and making sentimental gifts to those who appreciate them most. See our article on intestacy to get a better understanding of why it is important to have a will.
Keep in mind that being healthy and young does not guarantee that something unexpected will never happen to you. Despite how young and healthy you are, if any of the following applies to you, you should-especially consider making a will.
- You Are Married
If you are married, both you and your spouse should consider making a will—even if you do not have children. Without a will, everything that belongs to you will automatically go to your spouse. There might be some things that you want your parents or siblings to have instead of your spouse. If you both die without wills, everything could end up on one spouse’s side of the family. Most people do not want that. Having wills can prevent that from happening.
- You Have Kids
If you have kids, consider writing a will. Your will not only allows you to direct who gets what but also lets you choose who will look after your kids. If both of a child’s guardians die and there is no will, then government agencies will become your child’s guardians. If a family member or close friend wants to become your child’s guardian, they will need to get a court order. A will also lets you set up a trust to set aside some money for your kids.
By having a will, You can also set up a trust to set aside some money for your kids. You can name a person to hold their inheritances and list uses for which they can use the inheritance. They will receive their inheritances when they reach the age specified in your will.
- You Have a Pet
If you have a pet, having a will allows you to appoint someone to take care of them when you are not there anymore.
- You Like to Travel
If you travel often, why not have a will? When we go travel overseas, we often get traveller’s insurance in case of emergency. However, if something unexpected happens to you, your insurance only deals with the expenses from that incident. You should have a will to deal with the things you leave behind in case something unexpected happens to you while travelling.
- You Have Social Media Accounts
If you have a Facebook or Instagram account, someone has to notify them of your death when you die. Facebook has its special form that needs to be filled out. Your family member or close friend will be asked to provide them with documentation to confirm that they are either your immediate family member or your executor. One of the documents Facebook and Instagram will accept is your will. After they verify your death, your family or close friend will have to let them know whether to set up memorialized accounts for your loved ones to remember you or to delete your account permanently.
- You Are Going to Receive an Inheritance
If you know that you are going to receive an inheritance, consider making a will. Otherwise, if you die after receiving your inheritance, it will be distributed according to the rules of British Columbia’s Wills, Estates, and Succession Act.
- You Have Burial or Memorial Service Wishes
Have you ever thought about your own funeral? This is something that we sometimes think about when we watch a movie or read a book associated with death. If you have burial or memorial services wishes, your will is the place to put them. You certainly do not want your loved ones argue over your funeral thinking that you would not have wanted your funeral to be this and that when you die. State your wishes in a will.
- You Want to Name the Person Who Will Take Care of Your Affairs When You Die
Even if you think that you don’t have a lot to list in your will yet, you can still appoint an executor who is reliable and understands your values. Your executor is in charge of dealing with your estate when you are gone. Wrapping up your estate is something that has to be done when you die. If you don’t name an executor, someone has to apply to the court to do the job. Getting that court order might not be simple if there is a disagreement about who should manage your estate. There might also be disagreements afterwards about the way that the person is handling your estate. Whether it is your spouse or your parents, you don’t want your loved ones involved in a lawsuit while they are grieving your death.
By naming someone as your executor, you know that your estate will be taken care of by the person you want to take care of it.
Don’t put off making a will because you think you are too young and healthy to have a will. It is never too early to start planning for your life. Remember that the unexpected happens. There is nothing wrong with being prepared for it. If you don’t know where to start, it’s always good to seek help from a lawyer experienced with wills and estates to guide you through the process.
Brennan J. Clarkson has helped clients with family law and estate law cases since 2008. He practices in Port Moody, British Columbia at Clarkson Law Corporation.
Contact Clarkson Law Corporation today for a free 30 minute consultation.