When Should I Write My Will or Trust

BY: Law Offices of Andrew Cohen | April 27, 2023

Having a Trust or Will drafted and implemented is a task many people put off handling for years or decades. It’s somewhat common to assume that drafting one’s Trust or Will is not necessary until you’ve reached old age.

However, you can never predict the future. Waiting until a Will or Trust is needed, and then trying to implement it, is an impossible task. This planning needs to be done so that when it’s needed, it’s in place. Typically, it’s a good idea to begin the process while you’re healthy and have full capacity. For many people, there’s a kernel of an idea that “I know I/we need something, but I’m just not sure what or how any of this works.” That can be somewhat scary or intimidating. Fortunately, the process doesn’t have to be that way as this isn’t a project you need to handle on your own. It’s extremely helpful to consult with an attorney when planning your Will and Trust, as they can provide expert guidance to clarify and explain what might otherwise seem to be an overwhelming process.

When to Make a Trust and Will: What You Need to Know

There are various life milestones that might mark the time when you should seriously consider drafting a will. They include the following:

  • Turning 18: Again, most people probably wouldn’t assume that writing a will needs to be on the mind of the average teenager. This is partially because most people 18 years of age haven’t yet acquired major assets. Regardless, once you officially become an adult, you should strongly consider having a Will drafted so that you can exercise control over the future of the possessions and assets you do have.
  • Getting married: Discussing your estate and Trust planning is something worth prioritizing when you plan on getting married or entering into another form of committed romantic partnership. You want to ensure your loved one will be provided for if you were to pass unexpectedly.
  • Buying property: You should almost always draft a Trust when you acquire significant assets. Along with real property, this may include investments, business assets or ownership, and bank accounts. It can, and should, include personal items that have either substantial monetary value or sentimental value.
  • Having kids: It’s worth remembering that a Trust or Will can (and likely should) change over time. For example, you may have made the smart decision to write your Trust and estate plan when you got married. Every time you have a child, you should amend the estate plan accordingly. If you haven’t written a Trust or Will by the time you have your first child, doing so should be high on your to-do list.

Those are few examples. You may also consider writing or rewriting a will whenever your life circumstances change in any major way. Examples of significant life changes include (but aren’t limited to) divorce, an unexpected passing, remarriage, or retirement.

Why You Should Draft a Trust or Will Sooner Rather Than Later

Writing a Trust or Will early offers many potential benefits, such as:

  • Preparing for the unanticipated
  • Having more time to seriously consider what you wish to address
  • Handling the task when you have the time and capacity, as you may find yourself busier than expected in the future or experiencing some age related decline in capacity

Working with an experienced attorney to properly planning your Trust or Will sooner than you may have thought about provides peace of mind. At the Law Offices of Andrew Cohen, a Santa Clarita Will and Trust attorney is on hand to provide the help you need. A lawyer can also explain why a Trust is typically a preferable plan than most other methods of handling assets. Learn more by contacting us online or calling us at 661-481-0100.

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