There are a handful of core messages that estate planning attorneys try to circulate, and one of these is the fact that estate planning is relevant to people of all ages. It could be logically suggested that you really need to have an estate plan in place as soon as you become a self-supporting adult.
But once you get married and your spouse is depending on your income the stakes get higher, and when you have children an estate plan becomes an absolute must. You have to be sure that you have the proper insurance coverage in place; you must name guardians for your children should the unthinkable happen; and you will want to have advance health care directives in place. Plus, you would do well to begin planning ahead for the future and start contributing to an individual retirement account of some kind.
Another one of the core messages that estate planning attorneys often emphasize is the fact that estate planning is an ongoing process that is something that you’re going to have to revisit as the years pass and the details of your life change. Statistics on the subject are hard to pin down with exactitude, but it is safe to say that 40% to 50% of marriages in the United States these days end in divorce. So if you are one of these people, you are going to have to evaluate your estate plan and see if you want to make some changes, particularly with the beneficiaries that you probably have in place.
To take this a step further, most people who get divorced remarry, and in most of these cases there are children involved. This involves another layer of estate planning complexity, and without question the best way to sort through it all is with the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney. It is important to make sure that you and your new spouse are on the same page and that the children that you are each respectively bringing into the marriage are properly provided for. This is something that truly requires the expertise of an experienced legal professional.