Estate planning can be an easy thing to put off. People get distracted or uncomfortable; they think they don’t need to worry about things like wills until they are much older or battling a serious illness.
However, every adult can benefit from having in place a basic estate plan that includes a valid will. As such, before you decide to put off creating a will yet again, you should stop and think if now is the perfect time to create one. This can be especially beneficial after or in anticipation of the following events.
Families change, and for better or worse, these changes can affect end-of-life care plans, asset distribution, and decision-making authority. Therefore, creating (or updating) a will after the following events will be important.
- Getting married
- Getting divorced
- Birth of a child or grandchild
- Death or incapacitation of a loved one
Events involving assets
Acquiring or losing assets can change how people feel about long-term protection. Once you have something you want to pass down or protect, it can help you see the value in creating a will. Therefore, consider creating a will if you:
- Buy a house
- Receive an inheritance from someone else
- Invest in a business
- Take on new debts
- Acquire meaningful personal property
Other types of events
Some events spark an emotional response that can result in reconsideration of your goals and priorities. They can change how people feel about their future as well as what they can do to protect the assets, beliefs, and people they cherish most. This might include:
- A religious or faith-based experience
- Seeing a friend struggle through probate
- A serious medical event
- Changes in legal or political environments
Taking action after these events
While every adult should have a will in place, it can take a specific event to prompt a person to actually start the estate planning process. When such an event occurs, do not hesitate to explore your options and discuss your planning wishes with an experienced attorney. Putting it off again could continue to leave you and your loved ones exposed to the challenges and complications of dying without a will.