The primary objective of many wills or estate plans is to arrange for the proper descent of someone’s assets. A will determines who inherits someone’s house and keeps their car. Those who don’t have much property in their own name or who have just started out in their professional careers may question whether they actually need a will or not.
If you don’t own a home or any other particularly valuable property, do you actually need to create a will?
If you don’t plan, state law takes over
You might underestimate how much your personal possessions are worth. From both an emotional and a financial standpoint, even the belongings in your apartment could be very important to the people who care about you.
When you don’t have an estate plan in place, the Maine probate courts will award your belongings to your closest family members according to intestate succession laws. If you don’t have any immediate family members, then eventually the assets from your estate may pass to the state itself.
Especially if you are not close to your family members or you don’t have any immediate family, taking the time to create a will could be a smart move. You can name a friend to be the beneficiary of your estate or arrange for your assets to pass to a charitable cause.
There may be people who depend on you
Whether you rent an apartment with a roommate or share custody of a child with your ex, there may be individuals who depend on your support. Your will gives you an opportunity to provide resources and outside help for the people closest to you.
You can name a guardian for your child even if you don’t have much property to pass to them. You can also leave instructions for the benefit of the people closest to you, such as allowing your roommate to keep your furniture. Not only would it be smart to create a will, but if you are unmarried and over the age of 18, you might want to create living documents, like an advanced directive, which helps ensure that someone can protect you if you have a medical emergency.
Understanding the benefits of even the most basic estate planning can help you take the necessary steps to protect yourself and others.