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When Do You Need A Will?

February 15, 2023

Many people want to ensure that their families are aware of their wishes so as to avoid potential conflicts—but the particularities of planning for the future aren’t always clear. When do you need a will, and how long after a person dies will beneficiaries be notified? We have the answers to these questions and more, below. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us or explore our additional resources.

Planning Your Future — Obtaining a Will

A will is a legal document dictating how your assets are to be distributed after you've passed away. When is a will needed? If your answer is yes to any of the following, it's best to create a will:

  • Are you married?
  • Do you have children? 
  • Will you need to name someone your child's guardian?
  • Do you have a lot of assets and want them to go to a specific person?
  • Do you have pets that need providing for after your death?

Having a will allows you to decide who gets your property, money, and belongings without any issues or conflicts. It's not required, but many financial experts do recommend hiring a lawyer when putting together a will.

On the flip side, when isn't a will needed? If you are young, single, don't have any children, or don’t have any assets to distribute, you don't need a will — yet. 

How Long After a Person Dies Will Beneficiaries Be Notified?

It varies, but most states have recommended timelines for how long it should take to contact a beneficiary about a death. It can take some time to locate and notify all of the beneficiaries, as much as several weeks or even years. However, beneficiaries are generally contacted within three months. If you're the beneficiary of a trust, you'll be notified much sooner.

Get More Estate Planning Tips at IntentGen

Whether you want to know more about starting a will or estate taxes, we have you covered at %%di_name%%. We're proud to be your trusted resource when it comes to estate planning, retirement, investment planning, and much more! We have a plethora of resources to explore, but feel free to reach out to us for more information.