Technically, everyone should have some sort of estate plan. It doesn’t matter how old you are, whether you’re married, or even if you have children. You’re simply better off with a plan in place.
Realistically, though, most people put off this type of planning and do not have a plan on file. It takes something to spur that action, to push them into creating the plan that they have always known that they needed. Examples of these types of life events include:
- Getting married to someone else, which means combining your lives and your assets
- Getting divorced from someone who previously would have received your assets
- Getting married for a second time, which may raise questions about who owns which assets
- Having a new child, which means you need to plan for their future, as well
- Getting a large influx of money, such as an inheritance
- Buying a new home, since any major asset should be properly addressed in your plans
- Starting your own business. Just like a home, a business is a major asset you can leave to others.
- Investing money or starting up new financial accounts, since these should always be addressed
- Adopting a child or expanding your family in some other fashion
Many people tend to wait until they are diagnosed with a sickness or some other ailment that could be fatal, and this is a good time to make your estate plan if you don’t have one already. However, you can see that you probably want to have your plan in place before that point.