Writing a will and creating a comprehensive estate plan can be challenging and frustrating. It requires that you think about your own mortality and make difficult decisions.
However, the consequences of failing to write a will are significant enough to make now the right time to consult an estate planning lawyer. If you die without a will, the State of Louisiana will decide who gets your property. Therefore, if you don’t have a will or have experienced a life change since you last wrote your will, it’s important that you to consider writing or updating it as soon as possible.
When It’s Time to Write a Will
While any time after your 18th birthday is a good time to write a will, you might make creating or amending a will a priority if:
- You don’t already have a will. People who are young and healthy don’t often think about creating a will. However, a life-changing event or an accident can occur at any time. Therefore, it’s essential to create a legally valid will to have in place for your peace of mind and your loved ones’ future.
- Your financial situation has changed. You may have bought property, invested in stock, or received an inheritance since you created your will. Now, you may want certain heirs to inherit specific property; you may want to add additional heirs; you may want to create trusts; or you may decide to leave some of your assets to a favorite charity.
- You’ve been married or divorced. A change in your marital status should prompt a call to your lawyer to discuss your estate plan. Otherwise, your family may be surprised when you die, and your spouse doesn’t get everything you intended them to inherit, or your former spouse gets more than you intended.
- You’ve become a parent. A will not only allows you to provide for your children financially, but it allows you to name a tutor (also known as a guardian) in case you and your child’s other parent both die before your child reaches adulthood.
- Your children are now adults. Your children have different needs now that they are adults. They no longer need tutors, and they no longer need other adults to manage their money. You may have different relationships with your children now than you did during their childhood. Accordingly, you may want to write a new will or revise your will to provide for your adult children.
- You started a business. Your business succession plan may be part of your comprehensive estate plan.
Ultimately, writing a well-drafted will that accomplishes your goals is never a mistake. However, waiting too long to write one may have significant and irreparable consequences for your family and loved ones after you’re gone.
Contact an Estate Planning Lawyer to Discuss Your Options
Our New Orleans estate planning attorneys understand that creating a will isn’t always comfortable. It’s hard to talk about what will happen after you die. However, our lawyers will put you at ease and present all of your options, so you can make informed decisions and create the will and estate plan that meets your needs. Fill-in-the-blank forms and generic templates can’t provide you with the same peace of mind that an individualized consultation with an experienced estate planning lawyer can provide you.
We encourage you to take the first step, and contact us at any time. We invite you to call us, start a live chat, or complete our online contact form to have us contact you. We will give you our professional opinion about whether now is the right time to create a will, and if it is, we will draft a unique plan that is right for you.