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By Carey Thompson
Founding Attorney

As a young adult, you’re likely juggling life’s big milestones – landing your first job, buying a car, or even starting a family. But have you paused to consider the future of your assets in these exciting times? Many think estate planning, including creating a will, is reserved for the later stages of life. However, it’s equally important for young adults to outline their wishes and protect their interests, regardless of their current wealth or age. 

Why Creating a Will is Important for Young Adults

For young adults, creating a will is a proactive step in managing life’s uncertainties. A will is vital for several reasons. First, it allows you to designate guardians for any minor children, a decision that shouldn’t be left to the courts in the event of an unforeseen tragedy. Secondly, even if you believe your assets are minimal, a will ensures that what you do have is distributed according to your wishes, not state laws. This includes digital assets like social media accounts or cryptocurrencies, often overlooked but increasingly significant. In addition, a will enables you to leave a legacy by making charitable donations. Finally, having a will can prevent potential disputes among family members, ensuring that your passing doesn’t lead to unnecessary stress or conflict, but rather a clear understanding of your intentions.

Common Misconceptions About Wills and Young Adults

A prevalent misconception among young adults is the belief that wills are unnecessary at their age. Many think, “I’m too young to need a will,” or “I don’t own enough to make a will worthwhile.” This mindset overlooks the unpredictable nature of life. Another common myth is that drafting a will is a complex and costly process, reserved for those with extensive assets. In reality, creating a will can be straightforward and affordable. These misconceptions can lead to missed opportunities in safeguarding one’s wishes and ensuring that even modest assets are distributed as intended.

Steps to Creating Your Will

  • Decide on Beneficiaries: Identify who you want to inherit your assets, whether it’s family members, friends, or charities. 
  • Choose an Executor: Select a trusted individual who will be responsible for carrying out the terms of your will. Ensure they are willing and able to undertake this role and understand your wishes fully.
  • Detail Asset Distribution: Clearly outline how you wish your assets, including digital assets and personal items, to be distributed. This step reduces the chances of misunderstandings and legal challenges.
  • Consult a Legal Professional: Even if your estate seems straightforward, it’s wise to seek legal advice. An estate planning attorney can help ensure your will complies with state laws and fully reflects your intentions, and ensure that your will is signed according to Texas laws.
  • Store Your Will Safely: Keep your will in a secure but accessible place. Inform your executor or a trusted individual of its location to ensure it can be found when needed.

Legal Requirements and Considerations in Texas

In Texas, there are several legal requirements for a will to be valid. First, the person creating the will, known as the testator, must be at least 18 years old, or legally married, or a member of the armed forces. The testator must also be of sound mind, understanding the implications of the document they are creating. The will must be written, as oral wills are not recognized in Texas. It requires the signature of the testator and be signed in the presence of two credible witnesses over the age of 14, and should be notarized. These legal stipulations ensure the will’s validity and enforceability in Texas.

Updating Your Will: When and Why

Updating your will is an important aspect of maintaining its relevance and accuracy over time. It’s advisable to review and potentially revise your will after significant life events. These can include marriage or divorce, the birth or adoption of a child, significant changes in financial status, or the acquisition of substantial assets. Additionally, if you move to a different state, you should make sure your will complies with the new state’s laws. 

Contact an Experienced Fort Worth-Dallas Texas Estate Planning Attorney

If you’re considering creating or updating your will, the Law Office of Carey Thompson is here to guide you. Our dedicated team offers personalized advice tailored to your unique circumstances, ensuring your wishes are effectively documented. Contact us today to secure your future.

About the Author
Carey Thompson has been practicing Social Security Disability Law Since 2008 after he graduated from Texas Wesleyan School of Law, now known as Texas A&M school of Law in Fort Worth, TX.  While at Texas Wesleyan he served on Law Review.  Prior to going to Law School, Mr. Thompson was a High School Band Director for four years using his degree in Music Education from Michigan State University.  Prior to Attending Michigan State, he attended Aledo Schools from Kindergarten to graduate.  Mr.Thompson feels strongly about serving the people of Tarrant County.