When Should I Start Estate Planning?

It’s a very common question we get at our offices. Estate planning is such a big thing, and it can seem like a person’s Will comes out of nowhere. It can seem especially daunting, as any subject involving death can. What will happen to your assets when you die? What about your property? Who gets what? You can imagine that these are important questions to start thinking about… But when is the right time? This article will help you identify the moment you should start planning your estate. Let us give you a hint: There’s no time like the present!

However, there are some key moments you should know about. In addition, estate planning has several smaller tasks that you can handle as these moments arise. For example, if you open a savings account, the next step should be deciding where that money goes if you die.

Estate Planning Opportunities

We’ll go over some more specific and important cases in a bit, but first, let’s cover some opportunities you might miss:

  • Marriage Changes: Are you getting married? It may be time to combine assets. If so, this is a time to start estate planning. Similarly, divorce often necessitates an update to your existing estate plans.
  • New Children: Any time you have a child, even your firstborn, you should consider guardianship and inheritance. This goes for grandchildren too.
  • Travel: We recommend starting your estate before a long period of travel. If you leave the country a lot, it may be time to plan your estate.
  • New Property: If you buy a new home or another form of real estate, planning your estate can help avoid lengthy probate later.

When to Appoint a Guardian

With a new child on the way, it’s very smart to start planning. One of the best things you can do is consider who would care for your child should the worst happen. While it isn’t something, many new parents consider, getting this down in writing is important. Many people name their choice of guardian in a Will, but there are other ways to do this if you’re not ready for that yet.

When to Write a Will

If any of the situations we’ve gone over have happened, it’s time to write a Will. As soon as you’re a legal adult with assets, it’s important to begin going over what happens to them. Many Americans die without having plans for what happens to their assets. This means grieving families are left dealing with the process of probate and other legal procedures. Of course, you’d hate to leave your loved ones in such a situation. This is why estate planning is so important – It eliminates ambiguous situations after your passing. It helps protect your loved ones during their most vulnerable moments.

Closing Thoughts

When should you start writing a Will? As soon as you’re an adult. It is never too early to begin estate planning. This is a vitally important responsibility for everyone, regardless of economic status or age. If you have multiple assets, you’ll want to create a Trust as well. Any change – New property, children, or life changes – Should warrant a change to your estate plan as well. At Dowd Law, we can help you through every step of this process. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today!