Why do I need a will if I’m still young and haven’t acquired a lot of wealth?
In a case like yours, you don’t need a complicated will. But you do need an inexpensive, basic will. The larger and more complicated your estate is, the more you’d spend on estate planning and a will in order to ensure everything is properly addressed—and to keep the government’s hands off everything.
Let’s say you’re in your early- to mid-twenties and single. You have a car and a bank account, and that’s it. In this kind of scenario, it’s going to be easy to work through your estate. But it’s going to take your parents—or whoever’s left—a whole lot longer to get those few simple transactions taken care of if you don’t have a will in place.
The other thing you’ll always want to have in your will package is a healthcare power of attorney directive. This includes things like who’s going to make medical decisions for you if you’re unable to make decisions for yourself. As a part of this, you’d want to fill out the paperwork on whether to disconnect life support systems in the event of a coma. These things aren’t fun to think about, but doing it will take a huge burden off the people you love. And all this becomes even more important if you have children, because the state will step in and decide what happens to them if you don’t.
Having these things laid out ahead of time, and sharing them with your family and close friends, is a very thoughtful and mature thing to do for those who would be left behind in the event of your death. They’re already going to be distraught and grieving, and you don’t want to make it worse by leaving them with a lot of important, difficult decisions to make.
Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 16 million listeners each week on 600 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at daveramsey.com and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey.