People lump ‘Wills’ in with ‘OAPs’ however having a carefully drafted Will is important at any age over 18 if you have any assets. Between the ages of 18 and 21, many people will find they gain access to funds which were set up for them as children by their parents are fortunate to inherit money or may start working full time and being to start building up savings.
For many young people this will not necessarily be enough of a motivating factor to draft a Will but at least let it cross your mind. If you passed away, you would not wish your savings to go to anyone that you were unhappy with. You may have parents or siblings that you feel are deserving. However, if you are 25 plus, have significant assets and a sensible outlook you will seriously consider drafting a Will.
Yes: If you have children.
There are no two ways about it if you have kids you, should have a Will. Within your Will, you should specify the following with regards to your offspring.
Often in the case of both parents death your children would inherit most of your estate. Remember, they could get nothing if you do not have a Will, so make sure you get yourself organized. If the children are under 18 you may wish to stipulate restrictions on the access the children would get to your estate, for example, they may not be able to access the money until the age of 21 or you may specify that part of the money will be used for a university education or their maintenance over a number of years. You will also want to nominate a guardian in your will, should you not be around to bring up your children.
Yes: If you are elderly or if you are severely ill.
It may seem like the last thing the world you want to do at this point in time, but there are many people who will be happy to help you, be they family members or legal professionals. Make sure your loved ones are left without a complicated legal battle on top of the emotional turmoil of their loss.
Requirements For A Valid Will
You must be of sound state of mind when the Will is drafted. This will be verified during the process.
The Will must be signed and be in writing. Without a signature a Will is void.
If you have any money to your name, you may wish to consider writing a Will at any age, for example when you start accumulating savings or if you are left money by a relative. Dying intestate (without having a Will drafted) can cause problems for your family or dependents after you are gone.
The following conditions should prompt you to draft a Will or re-draft your Will:
If you have children you may want to ensure the estate reaches them in the event of your death, you would also consider providing for them regarding a legal guardian, who would be able to gain custody, any provisions for upkeep and future education.
When you buy your first property, or if you own more than one property you need to draft a Will to ensure it gets to the right person should you pass away.
If you have a partner, i.e. a long-term partner to whom you are not married, they will not have any legal rights to any of your estate. Therefore, if you wish to provide for them once you are gone it is imperative that you draft a Will immediately.
If you are married or getting married you should draft a Will. If you subsequently divorce or remarry, you should also re-draft your Will. Finally, you should be aware that if you have a Will and then you marry, your Will becomes void, so you will need to write a new Will.
Extreme sports –
If you are partaking in some extreme sports you should draft your Will now, you may feel invincible right now, but you must understand that unfortunately sometimes unforeseen accidents do occur.
Dangerous locations –
Commonly, dangerous countries such as those experiencing political disturbances, or war zones. This most obviously applies to those in the armed forces. This advice also applies to members of the media and such as journalists and photographers.
If you are going to have major surgery, with a significant risk, you should draft a Will in case it does not go to plan. You may wish to draft a Will should you have any surgery, but this is down to your personal preferences.
If none of these apply to you, you may not feel the need to draft a Will. Be aware that if you do not wish your estate to pass to your next of kin parents firstly, and siblings Secondly, you should draft a Will now. In all circumstances, it is best to have a solicitor help you draft your Will. If a Will is not drafted accurately, it will be void in the eyes of the law. Having a solicitor help you with your Will is particularly vital should you have a complicated estate.
So a good practice to determine when you should start preparing your well is to begin when you start accumulating assets. When it comes to deciding when is it too late to have your Will drawn up by an attorney, the answer to that question is never. It is never too late to have your document prepared unless you are dead already at which point it is too late.
Thus, as long as you are alive and of sound mind and character then you can prepare your legal document by an attorney. Even if you are 99 years old and there is really but one more day for you to live, as long as you are of sound mind and character you can prepare your Will so as to designate the beneficiaries of your estate. You can practice this as a guide, but again there is no point that is too early or a point that is too late unless you have already passed on.