Most individuals don’t engage in estate planning because they don’t think they’re old or wealthy enough. You can become incapacitated or die at any point, though. Estate planning involves more than drafting a will.
You’ll want to take various estate planning steps depending on your stage in life to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of.
Estate planning as you enter adulthood
Parents can generally make medical decisions on their kids’ behalf up until they turn 18. You must sign a health care power of attorney allowing your doctors to relay vital medical information to your loved ones. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to do so, and your medical provider could go against your wishes because of this.
Why engage in estate planning upon launching your career or starting a new job?
Another instance in which it’s wise to do some estate planning is setting up beneficiary designations for your 401(k) or insurance plans you may take on when starting your career or even a new job. These assets may not seamlessly pass on to your desired loved ones unless you outline who your designees are.
Why marriage should prompt you to revisit your estate plan
A vital estate planning step that you’ll likely want to take when marrying is to list your spouse as a joint tenancy with rights of survivorship. This will allow you to seamlessly pass your property rights to your surviving spouse when you pass away. You may also want to revisit any beneficiary designation forms to ensure that they continue to reflect your current final wishes.
How children impact estate planning
The birth of your child should prompt you to appoint someone to serve as your child’s guardian in case something happens to you. You may also want to set up a trust to provide for their future financial needs.
How an estate planning attorney can help
There are a lot of puzzle pieces that come together to form an estate plan. There are various requirements that you must make to properly execute estate planning documents. There are some pros and cons associated with making certain choices when drafting these documents. You may find it helpful to consult with an attorney to discuss your unique situation to learn what estate planning choices are right for you.