Articles from Pacific Northwest Law Group

Why Young Adults Need a Will & Durable Powers
Apr 27, 2021

Why Young Adults Need a Will & Durable Powers


What do most young adults often overlook as they get ready to head off for college or the working world?  In this chaotic Covid-19 era especially, a last will and testament and durable powers! Those documents are often the last thing any parent of an 18-year-old wants to think about, let alone the youth themselves. However, experts say a will should be drawn up as soon as a child turns 18 and is legally an adult. As a practical matter, creating a will gets young people thinking about what will happen in the future, what they own and how much it is worth, and how to proactively take control of their financial situation. Additionally, if a person dies without making a will, even a young adult, then legal rules will apply to determine the distribution of the individual’s assets. The #1 motivation for having a will is to ensure that your intentions and goals will be carried out.

Financial Safety and Security - There are practical reasons to create a will and durable powers health and finance at a young age. Young adults may have a professional job that pays well and offers a sizeable life insurance policy, or even incentive stock grants. They also may have valuable possessions or vulnerable family members to protect, or a trust fund from a long-lost grandparent. If young adults want to protect these assets and direct where they will go if they die, it is imperative that they have a will. If a person dies without a will, state law will decide how the assets will be distributed. This can cause more stress for the heirs, mean less money will be distributed, and lead to long bureaucratic delays.  

Military or Volunteer Service Abroad - For obvious reasons, anyone entering the military should consider creating a will. So should those who will spend extended periods of time outside of the country. Even young adults without a lot of money may be encouraged to have a will, as meaningful possessions, such as a beloved pet or vintage comic book collection, should be accounted for within a well-constructed will. It is also critically important that wills created for young people are updated regularly to reflect any changes in their family status or financial situation. 

Failing to Plan Can Defeat Your Own Family Estate Goals - It may also be important to create a will for a young adult to keep intact an extended family’s overall estate planning. If a young person were to die intestate, their assets will probably revert to the parent’s estate, rather than to any siblings, charities, or additional family members. This may very well defeat the purpose of the parent’s estate planning efforts. Generally, it is a good idea to have the will stored in a place that can be easily accessed and is known to close family members. Imagine the difficult spot your family would be in if your burial wishes were locked in a safe or kept in an undisclosed place in your apartment.

Approaching the subject of a simple will with young adult children may not be as difficult as some parents might think. Young adults are often excited about anything that solidifies their status as an adult. Assisting with opening a bank account, meeting with a financial advisor, visiting college campuses, and meeting with an attorney to create a will are all steps every parent should take as their child takes the next step along the journey into adulthood. 

We hope you find this information helpful and would be happy to discuss any of the above at your convenience. 


Pacific NorthWest Law Group

Telephone: 425-867-0512

The information provided in this article does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.

All information, content, and materials mentioned herein are for general informational purposes only.

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Pacific Northwest Law Group
16141 Cleveland Street,
Suite C109
Redmond, WA 98052

Phone: (425)867-0512
Fax: (425)883-4616