Estate planning lawyers like to remind people that even younger adults should have a rudimentary estate plan in place. When exactly is the time right? It would be logical to assert that you should have an estate plan in place soon as you become a self-supporting adult. Even if you don’t have a significant store of assets, you certainly have some things of value and you would also do well to consider getting your advance health care directives in place.
Once you get married an estate plan becomes all the more important because it is very likely that your spouse is relying on your income to maintain his or her quality of life. And of course once you have children an estate plan becomes absolutely essential. You must be sure that you have adequate life insurance to provide for your family come what may, and you also must assert your choice of guardian should you and your spouse pass away together in some sort of accident. At this point you probably will start to take long-term planning more seriously and begin to contribute to an individual retirement account and otherwise start to accumulate assets with an eye on the future.
Given all the above, if you were to get divorced it would certainly have an impact on your estate plan. Most will say “this will never happen to me,” but as many as half of marriages end in divorce. It may not be the first thing on your mind during such an emotional time in your life, but divorce does call for an estate plan review because it is very likely that you will want to change your beneficiaries and otherwise alter your long-term financial trajectory. The most efficient way to proceed is to simply arrange for a consultation with your estate planning attorney who will make the proper recommendations and make sure that your post-divorce wishes are legally supported.
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