You may not want to consider what it means to begin estate planning, but you should know it is a significant chapter of your life. The grief that will come for your family members when you pass will surely overwhelming and by having an estate plan in place, you will be able to ease some of that grief by making probate as painless as possible. This way, your wishes will be extremely clear, no one will have cause to contest your will, and your family members will not squabble over assets.
Creating a will doesn’t have to wait until old age. There are some points throughout your life that should get you thinking about how to plan for the future. Surprises are the only thing you can count on in life, so that should convince you to begin estate planning in light of the following events.
When Should I Begin Estate Planning?
Now, depending on the type of estate plan you have, you will likely have the power to change it at any time, so it isn’t too early to begin. If life circumstances change, like it will when you hit each of these milestones, you will be able to adjust accordingly.
Mariage inevitably changes most aspects of your life, including your plans for the future. Your estate plan will surely change if you have already created one, especially if this isn’t your first marriage. If you haven’t written a will, you should surely write one now including your new spouse as an heir of your estate. The state you live in may require you to rewrite your will if you are entering your second marriage and if you refuse, then your estate could be left to your previous spouse instead of your current one.
However, there are some exceptions that could keep this from happening. Your current spouse may inherit instead of the former if:
- You have set up a premarital agreement that specifies that your former spouse will not inherit anything or that your current spouse is supposed to inherit a certain amount of assets.
- Your will lists your current spouse by name and designated what they will inherit.
- The will states that your former spouse will inherit nothing from your estate.
Divorce certainly changes your life, in similar ways to marriage. However, divorce is all about separation, which means there is a good chance that you will want to separate your former spouse from any non marital assets. It is especially important if you wish to leave everything to your children because if you do not designate them as heirs and you never remarry, your assets will likely go to your former spouse.
A New Addition to the Family
If you choose to have or adopt a child, you will have to ensure they are added to your will. If they are minors when you create your will, you will have to set up a trust to hold their inheritance until they come of age. You should also name them as beneficiaries to any of your financial accounts if that is what you wish.
Utilizing an Estate Planning Attorney
You should not have to stress yourself over your will. Although it can be a rough process, an estate planning attorney in Scottsdale AZ can help you begin the process by providing you with and walking you through the correct paperwork and by representing you accurately when your time comes.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Arizona Estate Planning Attorneys for their insight into estate planning.