Starting an estate plan can be as painless as writing a simple will. Kicking off the initial stages of estate planning early in life makes it easy to revise important documents whenever circumstances change down the line.
Whether or not you decide to start your will as a young adult, several important milestones throughout life present the perfect opportunity to begin or update your estate plan. By knowing how certain major life events might impact your estate planning needs, you can make the right preparations ahead of time.
1. Starting or ending a marriage
When you commit to a marriage, it is very likely that you will want to adjust your will to account for your new spouse as a beneficiary of your estate. On the flip side, a divorce might necessitate the removal of your ex from the will entirely.
2. Welcoming a child to the family
Not only will you want to outline which assets should eventually pass on to your children, but you should also consider naming an alternate guardian soon after birth or adoption. If something tragic should befall you and your partner, your chosen guardian can ensure that your children continue to receive the right kind of love and care.
3. Deciding to retire
There are also certain estate planning considerations to make as you approach retirement. Specifically, you should add an advance care directive to your will if one is not already in place so that medical professionals can provide the treatment you want if you become unable to voice your own wishes.
It is a good habit to revisit your estate plan every few years to ensure your documents are up-to-date. At the very least, updating your will after a significant life event can ensure that it meets all your major needs.