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Wills & Probate Resources
When Should I Write A Will
If you are young and do not really have any assets, property, or a significant amount of money, should you worry about writing a will, or put it off until later on in life? It is always advisable that you have a plan for all the assets you have, no matter how young you are or how insignificant you think your possessions are.
What Will Happen Without a Will?
Many Americans mistakenly believe that if they die, their property goes automatically to their parents, spouse, or children. However, without a detailed, written will, that is not always the case.
Each state has its own probate laws, and if you want to know about your local laws, consult an estate planning lawyer in your area. Usually, the government will decide where your property goes without a will. Your property is sold, or liquidated, and the money goes into the government's coffers. If you do not want that to happen, then write a will as soon as you possibly can.
When is a Good Time to Write a Will
As soon as you become a legal adult, or 18 years old, you should write out a will that explains where you want your belongings to go or who you want your belongings to go to. It is also a wise idea to place a contingent beneficiary in your will. A contingent beneficiary is a back-up person you want to have your stuff. Let's say that in my will I give my baseball card collection to Harry, but when it comes time to distribute my assets, Harry is deceased or otherwise cannot be located. Lucky for me, in my last will, I stated that if something happened to Harry, I wanted my baseball card collection to go to Matt. Matt is my second choice, my contingent beneficiary. If I had not named Matt as contingent beneficiary, my baseball card collection would have been sold and the money would have gone to the government.
On What can I Write My Will
Your will does not have to be anything fancy. In fact, wills have been written on bar napkins, and these even held up in court. As long as it spells out what belongings you have and who you want to have those belongings when you are gone, you are off to a great start. Once you have your will written out, make sure to sign it in front of a witness, like a public notary, who can verify that it was you who wrote the will and that you were not under duress or being influenced by someone else when you officially signed your will.