The main thing that influences people to do their estate planning is simple: growing older. The closer you get to a point where you have to pass your assets to your heirs, the more you think about exactly how you want to do it.
However, putting estate planning off like this can be a risky game to play. It could result in the complete lack of a plan when you need it most. Here are four events that should make you start considering it, regardless of your age.
Having a child
Young parents need to know that someone will take care of their child, and they can do it by picking a guardian. They also need to make a plan to leave their assets to the child in the event that the child is still a minor.
If you are diagnosed with an illness or a disease, it’s wise to make an estate plan — even if your prognosis is good and you expect a full recovery. It just makes you think about how unpredictable life is, and it’s better to be ready for whatever the future holds.
Getting a divorce
Divorce can make leaving assets more complicated, especially if you or your ex eventually remarried and you have blended families to consider. It’s wise to get a plan in place and then update it as needed.
Changing your assets significantly
Your estate plan details what should happen to your assets, and substantial changes to your assets can give you the motivation to make that plan. For instance, maybe you have always been a business owner and you put your money into the company. Then you decided to retire and sold the business. You no longer have a major asset and you have a sudden influx of cash, meaning you need a solid plan to pass it down.
Setting up your plan
These are by no means all of the reasons that you should do your estate planning. That said, if they’ve gotten you thinking about starting your plan, make sure you know all of the steps you will need to take.