It is not uncommon for people to come to the conclusion that estate planning is something that only senior citizens need to consider, but this is really not the case. We would all like to think that we will live a long and healthy life and die of natural causes in our sleep, but unfortunately there are no guarantees. At any given time in your life you may want to ask yourself where your loved ones would be if you were to suddenly be erased from the picture. If you have made no plans for such an eventuality you may have a moment of clarity and recognize just how important estate planning actually is.
Although single adults should have an estate plan in place, it becomes all the more important once you get married. When someone is depending on your income, an income replacement vehicle becomes necessary, and you should have advance health care directives in place as well.
Once you have children there is another level of responsibility to consider, and you have to be certain that you have sufficient life insurance coverage to provide for your family for the long haul. In addition, you must name a guardian who would care for children in the event of the death of you and your spouse. You may also want to engage in long-term planning, making sure that you are on a financial path toward a comfortable retirement.
Divorce is something that also impacts your estate plan. You will invariably need to make changes in your beneficiaries and adjust other aspects of your plan. If you remarry, you must once again revisit your estate plan, and estate planning for blended families can require an added level of legal expertise.
The bottom line is that estate planning is a process that is ongoing and it should be seen as such. This is why it is a good idea to identify the right estate planning attorney and develop a long-term working relationship so that you can always keep your estate plan up-to-date.
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