Most people don’t like to think about death. That’s one reason so many Americans put off creating a will. In fact, in 2019, about 40% of Americans had no estate planning documents, including a will. In 2020, according to a Caring.com survey, 1 in 3 people realized the importance of having a will and estate plan because of the coronavirus epidemic, yet they didn’t do anything to create one.
When you need a will
If you still haven’t created a will or estate plan, you may wonder when is the right time to do that. Or you may think that estate planning is something only very wealthy people need to worry about, but that’s not true. You need a will when:
- You have a positive net worth and you want to pass your assets on to beneficiaries you choose.
- You get married (you want to ensure your assets will go to your spouse).
- You have children (you want to name a guardian for your underage children and establish a trust to provide assets for your children).
Getting help creating a will and estate plan
When you decide you want to create a will, you should consult an experienced estate planning attorney. Many people think that using an online DIY will creation tool is their best option. However, with an attorney’s help, you can better evaluate all your assets and ensure your will meets South Carolina’s legal standards.
An estate planning attorney also can help you create other essential estate planning documents, such as
- A living will (also known as a health care directive), which informs your family of your end-of-life care wishes
- Naming a financial power of attorney (someone who can manage your finances if you become incapacitated)
- Naming a health care power of attorney (someone who can make health care decisions for you if you become incapacitated)
When you complete a will and essential estate planning documents, you will feel peace of mind. You know you will have planned ahead and your wishes will be honored. You also will alleviate stress for your loved ones in a difficult time.