Your estate plan isn’t something you can “set and forget.” It’s dynamic, evolving along with your life and your family. As such, it’s critical to be attentive to your estate plan, revisiting it every few years and amending it as needed.
The specific needs of your estate plan will vary according to the season of life you’re in. Simply put, your priorities are going to look a lot different when you’re in your 20s than they will in your 40s, and you can expect them to change further as you make it past 60 or 70.
In this post, we’ll provide just a quick overview of what your estate planning activities might look like in each stage of life. With specific questions, don’t hesitate to contact the Singh Law Firm team.
Early adulthood. When you’re in your late teens or early 20s, you’re probably not thinking too much about your mortality. One thing you should think about, though, is the reality that your parents no longer have legal authority over your estate planning affairs. One specific thing to do is make sure you have financial and healthcare powers of attorney in place, giving your parents and/or romantic partner the legal ability to make key decisions on your behalf, should you find yourself medically incapacitated due to accident or injury.
Marriage. There are several estate planning measures to take when you get married. The first is just to update key documents to reflect the legal and fiduciary responsibilities of your spouse. Additionally, it’s smart to start keeping a list of all your combined assets, something that will offer an accurate reflection of what your joint estate looks like.
Having kids. When you start having children, estate planning becomes all the more urgent. Simply put, you need to make sure your kids are taken care of should tragedy befall you and your partner. This means using your will to clearly define who you’d like to serve as a guardian for your little ones. Additionally, set up trusts to ensure that your assets pass down to the correct beneficiaries, without getting tangled up in probate. Finally, consider your options for life insurance.
Business ownership. If you own your own business, that brings its own set of estate planning concerns. Specifically, you’ll want to consider succession planning, and ensure that the business transfers to the correct person when you die.
Divorce. Hopefully this is something you won’t have to go through; if you do, however, it’s important to sit down with your attorney to review your estate planning documents. Chances are, you won’t want all your assets to go to your ex-spouse, and you may also wish to exclude your ex-spouse from having powers of attorney.
Retirement. Once you retire, you’ll probably have a lot more clarity about what your final estate planning wishes are. This is a critical season to sit down with your estate planning lawyer and make any necessary recalibrations or amendments.
No matter what state of life you’re in, there’s some merit in reviewing your estate plan every year or two, simply adjusting it to reflect changes to your family life or to your financial situation.
As you seek estate planning vigilance, we hope you’ll keep Singh Law Firm in mind. We’d love to guide you through the process of keeping your estate plans current, and fully aligned with your true wishes. Are you ready to schedule a consultation with one of our estate planning attorneys? Contact Singh Law Firm today.