If you're in your 20s, 30s, 40s, or even 50s, you might think that you're still too young to worry about drafting up a will. That's not something you really need to worry about until you're retired, right?
Wrong! Everyone—including those who think they're "too young"—should take the time to create a will.
But sadly, not enough Americans get around to doing it. Surveys have shown that about 60% of U.S. adults are walking around without a will right now. Many of them wonder, "Why do I need a will?"
There isn't a law that says that you have to get a will at any point in your life. But even if you're still on the younger side, you should make every effort to put a will together so that you're prepared for anything.
Here is why it's so important for you to have a will.
There Is a Chance You Could Die at Any Point
Every year, there are more than 2.5 million Americans who die.
In some cases, death doesn't catch people completely off guard. It's not all that surprising when a person passes away as a direct result of something like heart disease or even cancer.
But there are a lot of people who die unexpectedly and without much warning. For example, about 5% of the people who die every year—or just over 135,000 people total—die after being involved in accidents. Accidents are actually one of the top causes of death in the country every year.
Keep this in mind when you're asking the question, "Why do I need a will?" There is a chance—a small chance but a chance nonetheless—that you could be involved in an accident at some point that results in your death. The last thing you want to do is to have this happen when you haven't gotten around to creating a will yet.
You Have More Assets Than You Might Realize
Many people who are in their 20s and 30s are still trying to find their way in the world. They're just getting their careers off the ground and are attempting to put themselves into better financial positions.
These people often make the mistake of thinking that they haven't accumulated enough assets yet to warrant the creation of a will. They often say that they'll start thinking about making a will once they build up enough wealth for it to make sense.
If this sounds like you, what you might not realize is that you have more assets than you think. You might not be where you want to be in your professional life just yet, but there's a good chance that you have:
- At least a little bit of money stashed away in the bank
- A car that you either own or are working towards owning
- A 401(k) or another type of retirement fund
- A life insurance policy
- And a wide range of other personal possessions worth varying amounts of money
When you sit down and add it all up, you might be surprised by how many assets you have and how much they're worth. A will lawyer can explain the process of creating a will so that you can decide what should happen to them in the event of your death.
Your Kids Could Be Left in Limbo If You Die Without a Will
You could make the argument that they are the No. 1 reason why you need to sit down with a lawyer and make a will right now. Otherwise, you could be doing a huge disservice to them.
The good news is that there are laws in place that will ensure that your estate is split evenly among your kids if you die without a will. But the bads news is that there are all kinds of potential complications that your kids could encounter if you die when they're still young.
Keep your young kids protected by putting a will into place. It'll help you spell out who you want to assume guardianship of your kids if you die before they're grown up and living on their own.
Your Family Could Also Struggle If You Leave the Earth Without a Will
When you leave a will behind at the time of your death, it'll make life slightly easier on your family. They'll be able to mourn your loss in peace without worrying about what they're going to do with your assets.
It'll also prevent fights from breaking out within your family over who deserves to collect your assets. Battles over estates have ripped more than a few families apart and made it even more difficult for them to recover from the loss of a family member.
You'll Appreciate the Peace of Mind That a Will Provides
Some people are under the impression that creating a will is going to cause them to become fixated on their own death. They think it's going to lead to them spending their days worrying about what's going to happen when they die.
But in reality, the exact opposite is true! Once you have a will, you'll find that you'll worry a whole lot less about death. You'll come to appreciate the peace of mind that comes along with having a will.
Stop Asking "Why Do I Need a Will?" and Create One Today
It's not uncommon for those who are still young to ask, "Why do I need a will?" They don't always understand why it's so important to have a will.
But as you've seen, there are lots of benefits that you'll get to enjoy when you create a will with a lawyer's help. You'll sleep better at night knowing that your assets and your kids are going to be protected when you die one day.
Want to find out more about how to create a will and what makes a will so essential? Take a look at our blog to find more informative articles on wills and the estate planning process.