People commonly associate estate plans with wealthy testators and large, established families. However, even individuals who do not have children, who are not yet married or who have a modest living can benefit just as much from having an estate plan.
When people fully understand the value of planning their estate, they can optimize their resources and protect their loved ones.
There is never a better time to plan for the future than right now. Economic turmoil, unexpected injuries, a tragic death or substantial inheritance might all impact a person’s life. According to U.S. News, early planning guarantees that individuals can control the flow of their assets to better protect and provide for the people they care about.
When determining a good strategy, estate planners should consider their lifestyle and their goals for the future. Even people without very many heirs might choose to give some of their assets to a charitable cause, or they may donate to a scholarship fund.
Once people have established their plan, they should keep it updated. Fidelity suggests that those with an estate plan modify their essential documents when significant changes occur in their lives. This may include events such as marriage, divorce, the births of children or grandchildren, a move across state lines or an unexpected death. Timely updates will reinforce the function of a person’s plan and prevent the disappointment and confusion that an outdated plan could cause.
Estate planning is a complex process, and relevant laws will vary between states. Those considering estate planning may need to seek insight into fine-tuning their strategy to make it fit their needs.