McDonald Warner - Probate, Elder Law, & Special Needs

What is the best age to first create an estate plan?

It is never too early to create an estate plan. While you will need to update it throughout your life, you should initially create one when you are still fairly young. Despite this, roughly 60 percent of Americans have done nothing with their estate plans. 

It would benefit all people to create an estate plan as soon as they turn 18. At this point, your parents are unable to make any financial or health care decisions on your behalf, so you need a plan in place just in case the worst happens. You can continue adding to your estate plan or changing it over the years. However, here are the points in life when you need to look at your estate plan. 

Turning 18

When you turn 18, your parents lose legal authority over you. This means if something happens and you cannot make independent decisions, no one else can do so. When you turn 18, you should at least create a living will, health care power of attorney and financial power of attorney. All these documents are relatively easy to develop, and they will give you and your loved ones peace of mind. 

Marrying and having children

When you marry, you will likely want to give certain powers of attorney to your new spouse. It may also be an excellent time to create a will, so your spouse can attain your assets if you pass away in an untimely manner. You also want to have protections in place when you start having children. In the event both parents pass away, you want to make sure someone can look after your kids. 

Going through other major life events

Any time something major happens in your life, you want to review your estate plan. There are many things you need to change if you end up divorcing your spouse later in life. You also need to update it when loved ones pass away or your financial situation changes. 

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