Who needs a will and who doesn’t?
Many people in South Carolina haven’t written a will yet, but most people should. It doesn’t matter how old you are, and in many cases, it doesn’t matter how many assets you have. If you’re even asking the question, then you probably need a will.
Are you married?
Being married is one great reason to write a will. Although your spouse will most likely inherit your assets anyway, it’s safer to put those wishes in writing. Also, if you want any of your assets to be distributed to people who aren’t your spouse, you’ll need to expressly indicate that in your will.
Do you have kids?
Writing a will is an important security measure when you have kids, especially young ones. If parents die before their children turn 18, the children need to be cared for by someone. Wills can be used to designate a trusted guardian for minor children.
Do you have assets?
A general rule of thumb is that anyone with a positive net worth should have a will. Even if you’re unmarried with no kids, you may want to specify who gets your assets if you die. When someone dies with no will, the state probate court decides where their assets go based on intestacy laws. That might mean your assets go to an estranged cousin even if you’d prefer they go to your best friend.
Are you unmarried with no kids and no assets?
If your net worth is negative because of debt and you have no spouse or kids, then maybe you don’t need a will. However, you might still have a few tangible assets that you care about. You may also want to consider setting up other estate planning documents, such as a health care power of attorney, to help manage your affairs while you’re still alive.