Reasons to create an estate plan vary for each person. However, people generally tend to create or re-evaluate their estate plan when they reach the larger milestones in their lives. To give you an idea of when you might want to create an estate plan or re-evaluate an existing one, we have created a list of five times you may want to consider it.
1. You Turn 18
When you turn 18, you're excited to finally become an adult. However, it means that your parents have lost the ability to access your medical records without your permission. Some 18 year olds will decide to create a Power of Attorney and a Healthcare Proxy so that their parents could access their medical records and make medical decisions, if it were ever necessary.
2. Newly Married Couples
When two people get married, it is important to think about what would happen if one of those people unexpectedly died. Most people assume that since they are married, the spouse will get everything. This is not always the case. Without your estate plan in place, you are letting the laws of Massachusetts decide how your property and assets are divided.
3. When you Purchase a new Home
Buying a home is a big decision. It can also impact your estate plan. If you already had an estate plan, it's a good idea to re-evaluate to see how the value of your home may affect the value of your assets and whether it changes any tax consequences if something happens to you. If you don't already have an estate plan in place, purchasing your first home is a good time to consider one since your home may be one of your largest assets.
4. Every Time you Have a Baby
When you have a baby, there are a lot of things you should be considering. Who would you want to have custody of your children if something happened to you or your spouse? Also, what would you want that child to inherit if something happened to you? Would you want all your children treated equally? These are just some of the questions that you should consider as a new parent.
5. Considering Retirement
When you start to consider retirement, it is important to review any existing legal documents. It is not uncommon for people who are nearing retirement to realize that they haven't updated or looked at their estate plan since their children were little. A lot changes in that amount of time. Children grow up, assets change, and health issues may have arisen. All of these impact how people feel about the estate planning process and how they want to protect their assets.
If you are considering creating or updating an estate plan, contact us for a free initial consultation. We look forward to meeting you.