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When Is the Best time to Start Estate Planning

You’ve probably considered what might happen to your belongings, assets, and finances after you pass away. However, many people fail to fully address this issue when the time is right. Just ask these wrongful death lawyers, some people wait until it’s far too late. 

So, when is the best time to start estate planning? The answer is the same as writing your will. It’s never too early to draft these vital documents even though it might seem unpleasant or futile earlier in life. Here are a few key indicators that the time is just right. 

When It’s Time

Financial advisors and legal professionals, like these estate planning lawyers in Sacramento,  recommend starting the planning phase when you turn eighteen. You should then update your plan every three to five years. 

Once you’re eighteen, you become fully responsible for everything from finances to healthcare and power of attorney. Part of planning your estate is making sure all of these aspects and more are accounted for. Of course, few young adults have something like estate planning on their mind.

Luckily, there are a few life events that should encourage you to begin your estate planning. Opening a savings account, for instance, means you need to designate where those funds go if you should pass. Owning a home or other property is directly tied to your estate, making either another excellent indicator. 

Marriage is one of the more pivotal moments, as most individuals want their spouse to benefit from their estate in the event of their death. The same goes for having children. Keep in mind that having additional children or remarrying means you’ll need to update the plan. This is also true for divorce, where you would want to remove your ex-partner from the planning. 

Having grandchildren is another pivotal moment as you most likely want to name them as beneficiaries. If all of these events have passed, then it’s about time you sat down with a professional to begin the process.

About Your Will

Estate planning is a large part of creating your living will and testament, even though these are separate documents. If you haven’t created one yet, then any of the above life events mark an excellent time to get started. Hundreds of thousands of Americans pass away each day without one, leaving their family with added stress in the midst of a loss. 

About Guardianship

Before your children reach the age of eighteen, they are essentially part of your estate as they need someone to care for them. This makes selecting a guardian a vital part of the process. Should anything happen to you and your spouse, or you as a single parent, it’s critical that you choose someone to watch over them. 

Updating Your Estate Plan

While each of the milestones mentioned earlier are an excellent time to start estate planning, keep in mind that this document needs periodic updating. Outside of life events like divorce, remarrying, and children, gaining assets means you might want to consider how those are dispersed as well.

It’s generally advised to update the plan every three to five years, which means you’ll need to speak with another financial advisor or estate planning lawyer. While it might not be the most pleasant or fun task, ensuring your wishes are met and your family is cared for after your passing makes it all worthwhile.