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Many people in California understand that it is important to have a will. Despite this, however, many people do not. According to a poll from 2011, around 60 percent of people in the U.S. do not have a will. Many people who haven’t written a will yet are relatively young and don’t believe that a will is important for them.

Though it may not be pleasant to think about, it is important to understand that not everyone makes it to old age. Early deaths among people aged 10 to 24 are actually more common in the U.S. than they are in 27 other developed nations. The National Center for Health Statistics found that over 90,000 people who died in 2011 were between the ages of 20 and 39.

When a young adult dies without a will, the person’s wishes for their children, physical possessions and financial assets may not be understood or honored. One of the most important things that a will can do is appoint a guardian for minor children. A will can also allow a person to make sure that their assets are given to the people of their choosing rather than dispersed to family members based on intestacy laws.

An estate planning attorney may be able to help an adult of any age to draft their first will and create other key estate planning documents like powers of attorney and medical directives. If a person has beneficiaries who will inherit significant assets, the person may want to set up financial trusts so that those assets are better protected from mismanagement.