Only 4 out of every 10 American adults have a will or living trust in place.

If you haven’t started planning for what you want to happen to your money and belongings in the event of your death, you might be wondering if it’s time. Keep reading to learn when you should start writing your will.

When Should You Start Writing Your Will?

When you should start writing your will isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. Here are just a few of the reasons that you should get started:

If You Have an Inheritance

One very good reason to create a will is if you have an inheritance.

An inheritance left to you by a parent, grandparent, or other family member is a special, valuable asset. But if you were to pass away before you had used that inheritance, you’ll be leaving that money in limbo.

Depending on your family situation, you may also insight arguments over what should happen to the money if you haven’t explicitly outlined┬ádirections.

Dealing with the logistics of what will happen to an inheritance, regardless of size, is also something that requires a more experienced touch.

This isn’t a time to write your own will. Instead, trust an experienced law firm like Lees & Lees to avoid causing any legal nightmares for your beneficiaries.

If You Have Family Heirlooms

Like an inheritance, family heirlooms are also something that you’ll want to have a say on if you have to pass them on unexpectedly.

Having a will in place will allow you to fairly disperse heirlooms among other family members. It can also help keep them from winding up in an estate sale, or stuck in storage for years while lawyers try to figure out where they should go.

If You Have a Home

A home is similar to heirlooms and inheritances. If you want to have a say in who inherits it if you pass, outline this in your will.

If You Have Children

As soon as you have children, a will is a must.

You will not only designate what your children will receive but also stipulate where they would go if their other parent passes on as well.

You’ll want to talk with your family about which members would be willing to care for your kids in the event of your death. Then, outline those specific directions in your will.

If You Have a Pet

Like children, your beloved pets will also need someone to care for them if you were to pass on.

Again, you should talk with family members about whether they would be willing to care for your dog, cat, or other pet if you were to die.

If you can’t find a family member or friend to take them, you can also research local shelters and rescues that could help rehome your animal after your death.

If You Want to Provide for an Individual or a Cause

You don’t have to have kids to want to provide for someone if you were to pass away unexpectedly. If you have a friend or family member that you want to give money or physical belongings to, you’ll need a will.

You can also use a will to give your money or assets to a specific charity in the event of your death.

Answering Your Legal Questions

Now that you know when you should start writing your will, you might be looking for answers to other legal questions you’ve been afraid to ask.

Check out the “law” section of our blog to get answers to your hardest questions!