If you’re like many people, you might not have started thinking about your last will and testament until recently. One recent survey found that almost a quarter of adults who have a will got one because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, however, the majority of Americans still have no will.
Of course, you may be wondering whether or not the hassle of creating these legal documents is worth it. How do you know when to start estate planning, anyway, and where should you turn for help?
Let’s take a look at a few expert-backed tips on when to discuss estate planning.
When to Start Estate Planning
If you’re an adult who hasn’t drawn up a will, the best age for estate planning is probably now.
Estate planning allows you to decide what will happen to your assets after you die, who should make medical and legal decisions on your behalf if you’re incapable of doing so, and lists your specific wishes about your end-of-life decisions and medical care. In other words, everyone can benefit from at least some, if not all, aspects of estate planning—from seniors with dependents to young adults with very few assets.
Events That Signal an Urgent Need for Estate Planning
If you’re still on the fence, it’s worth noting that there are a few key life events that experts agree should signal an urgent need for estate planning. If you’ve experienced any of these, it’s time to consider reaching out to an expert attorney:
- You have a significant number of assets
- You have children or dependents that you want to care for after your death
- You have married or remarried
- You have a chronic or serious illness
- You are a senior
- You have strong feelings about your health care
- You have strong feelings about the division of your assets upon your death
- You want to make funeral costs easier on your family members
- You have bought one or more properties
- You own your own business
In addition, it’s worth noting that you may want to change your estate planning documents as your life situation changes: the birth of a child, for example, may require edits to your plans.
How to Start Estate Planning
Estate planning is easier than you think, especially if you have a team to help. The right estate planning attorneys can help advise you on when to draw up a will or change your existing documents. Even better, an attorney can walk you through the pros and cons of each decision, creating legally sound documents on your behalf.
The Right Time Is Now
There’s no reason to wait for the right moment: it’s already here. Knowing when to start estate planning can help you understand how to protect yourself, your family, and your legacy in the long run. Reach out to an experienced legal team now for more insight.
Need more help to make major life decisions? Be sure to take a look at our other content for additional advice.