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5 reminders that it is time to estate plan

Is it time for you to get serious about estate planning? The chances are good that you have not checked this off your to-do list yet. The majority of American’s put off estate planning until very late in life, and sometimes, not at all.

What that means for your family is having assets tied up in probate, and slashed by preventable taxes.

5 naturally occurring reminders to set up, or update, your estate plan

  • Marriage/Divorce. Marriage is a common time for people to join assets. It is also a great opportunity to determine how those assets will be divided, should it be necessary. Newly engaged or married couples may decide to include a pre- or postnuptial agreement as a part of their estate plan. Should the marriage dissolve, it is critical that the estate plan is updated to reflect the change in asset distribution, among other things.
  • Children. Bringing a child into the world serves as another reminder to create or update an estate plan. For minor children, an estate plan will include key details about their who they will live within the event of a tragedy as well as what they might stand to inherit, and when.
  • Home Ownership. A home is usually the most expensive purchase in a person’s life. Protecting that investment is obviously important. Those with an estate plan may choose to place their home in a revocable trust to avoid probate.
  • Relocation. Moving from one state to another usually involves changes in income and taxes. This is a great time to reconsider your assets through an estate plan.
  • Change in assets. Any changes to assets, whether that be an increase or decrease, should be reflecting in an estate plan. If no estate plan exists, such a change is a reminder to get one started.

Estate planning does not have to be intimidating. Plans exist for everyone of all asset levels. There is something to be said for the security that comes from knowing your estate is in order.

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