Did you know that you can write a legally binding will at the age of 18? This may come as a surprise since wills are typically (and rightly) associated with the end of one’s life. While the average life expectancy is much older (thankfully!) than 18 in the United States (78.7 years, to be exact), it’s never too earlier to write one’s will. This is because wills, in their essence, about you and your wishes for the future. You don’t have to let thinking about a will be morbid. Rather, use it as an opportunity to plan for the future of yourself, your loved ones, and any charitable causes that are important to you.

A will is a legally binding document that becomes effective upon your death. Once effective, the will disposes of your assets to your beneficiaries. Beneficiaries are commonly family members, but they may also include friends, charities, and other individuals and institutions. By thinking about who you want your beneficiaries to be and naming them in a will, you decide who your assets will go to upon your passing. Absent the existence of a valid will, your assets will be disposed of in accordance with default rules set by the state. In legal terminology, this circumstance is known as “intestacy.”

A will can be about more than assets and beneficiaries. Death isn’t the only event capable of making a will relevant. Individuals also may become incapacitated on a long-term or permanent basis due to an accident or health-related event such as a stroke. In such circumstances, one is rendered unable to communicate his or her wishes regarding important health care decisions. By including a health care directive (“living will”) within a will, one may ensure that their wishes are respected even in a state of incapacity.

Whether your concern is financial, health-related, or otherwise, creating a will allows you to plan for the future, and for the unexpected. Washington imposes formation requirements in the process of drafting a valid will, so be sure to reach out to an experienced Washington wills attorney for assistance.

If you want to reap the benefits of creating a will, contact Dan Kellogg online or call (425)227-8700 today.