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In today’s episode of Legal Live, Peter Riley of the Tom Riley Law Firm answers all your hot legal questions.
A big question from today’s episode asks, “When would you recommend someone starts creating a will or doing any estate planning? Is there a certain age that you would recommend?”
Peter says that first off, you need to be at least 18 to create a will. He says he sees most people look to create a will when they have acquired many assets and/or they reach an age where they really start thinking about estate planning, especially if planning to travel internationally by airplane.
Peter says that anyone with a young family should consider creating a will, in order to properly set out guidelines regarding your spouse and child(ren).
“First of all, if your children are also the children of your spouse, the spouse is going to get everything if there’s no will,” Peter says. “If the deceased spouse has children from another relationship, then the spouse gets half and no less than $50,000. And then the rest goes all the children regardless of relationship.”
He says setting up a will or doing estate planning is also very important in the chance that both parents end up dying, because it can prevent assets and property from being tied up in a conservatorship, where your children wouldn’t get anything until they turn 18.
“The reason why parents should have wills is the lawyer can then put a trust in the will, and provide that the property will be held by a trustee, set forth the conditions under which it can be distributed--like for educational purposes, or health related needs--and then control the money and let it accumulate. And then provide for distribution at some age, or sometimes people stagger the distribution so that it’s available later on when the kids are a little older adults and a little more mature,” Peter says. “And so that’s really the primary reason why anyone with a family with young children really needs to talk to a lawyer and get a will in place, so that you can protect the property and have it properly managed if both spouses or both parents are gone.”
Hear all today’s Legal Live questions and answers in the video above.