Some people think of estate planning as a necessity for those getting ready to retire. It is certainly true that those approaching retirement age need to take a careful look at their financial circumstances and think about the future. However, estate planning is not something that adults should leave until they are nearly at the end of their careers.
There is no way to know when something might happen, whether you get involved in a transit accident or contract a serious illness. Estate planning is something that benefits individuals in many stages of life. Once you create an estate plan, you may also need to go back and update it when your family circumstances change.
What are three of the common reasons that people create or change estate plans?
You get married or have kids
Marriage and parenthood mean taking responsibility for someone other than yourself. Those who depend on you will be left in a very difficult position if you died unexpectedly early in life.
Drafting or updating an estate plan when you now have a spouse or children to care for will ensure they receive the right property from your estate and that there are others, like a guardian for your children, who can step up if something happens to you.
You learn from the death of someone else
Watching a neighbor handle their parent’s estate or receiving notice that one of your best friends in high school died recently can shift your perspective on your own mortality.
Not only can death occur at any time, but it can create a lot of hardship for the people you leave behind. Seeing the mistakes and oversights other people make in their estate plans could help you create documents that will simplify probate for your loved ones and minimize risks.
You buy a house or start a business
Other than changes to your family, changes to your financial circumstances could also be a reason to plan your estate. When you buy a house or start a business, you want to have control over who it passes to when you die.
If you don’t have immediate family members, your property could potentially go to the government after your death. Creating estate documents or updating them when you add large assets to your personal portfolio will reduce conflict when you die and potentially protect you when you get older.
If you don’t have an estate plan or have one that you haven’t reviewed in years, setting some time aside to draft or update your estate plan will protect not just you but the people you love.