As you grow older and life unfolds, your estate plan will change because your goals, hopes, dreams, and fears will change. In addition, the law will change, your children and other loved ones will change, and your estate planning attorney will learn even better ways to serve you. (This is part one of three. Be sure to read all three articles.)
When you’re young and single…
When you’re young and single, you likely need a simple estate plan: simple will, financial power of attorney, medical power of attorney, living will, HIPAA release, and organ donation form.
This is a good time to set up and max out retirement accounts and to purchase life insurance to pay last bills and funeral expenses.
Purchase disability insurance to pay monthly bills should you become injured or disabled.
When you get married…
When you get married, your estate plan will need to be updated, reflecting not only your marital status but your change in goals and preferences.
Depending on your asset level and your goals, you may or may not need a revocable living trust, so ask your estate planning attorney if it’s appropriate for you yet.
Review retirement account and life insurance beneficiaries. If your spouse is dependent upon your income to pay monthly bills including a mortgage, consider upping your life insurance coverage.
Continue maxing out retirement accounts. You’ll be so thankful later!
When you have a baby…
When you have a baby, update your estate plan immediately.
You’ll need to name guardians in your will, guardians in a child care power of attorney, and first responders (trusted people who can reach your children within 15 minutes).
If you don’t yet have a revocable living trust, now is the time for one. Include asset protection trust shares for your children in your own trust.
Set up a 529 Plan for your child. This account will be used to pay for college expenses. The assets both grow and are distributed tax free. Grandparents and other friends and relatives can contribute to the same account.
It’s time for more life insurance! Consider at purchasing at least 6 to 8 times your pay to replace income and support your child until he or she can support himself.
If you have questions about these stages of life and the applicable estate planning, consult with a qualified estate planning attorney. And, please read parts two and three of this three part series, to see what happens next…..