Estate planning is an important responsibility to attend to for all adults, regardless of age or financial status. Starting an estate plan early in life is as easy as writing a simple will, and it eases the process of addressing new life circumstances by putting into place an existing document that you can update as needed.
A good rule of thumb is to review your estate plan every few years, but there are also certain major life events that call for significant updates to your will. Make the best decisions by learning more about how certain milestones might affect your estate planning needs.
When you welcome a new child
Upon the birth or adoption of a new child in your family, you will likely want to name them as a beneficiary to your estate. It is also advisable to name a legal guardian for your child in your will in the event that the worst should happen to you and the other parent.
When your marital status changes
Both marriage and divorce can alter the way you want to distribute your assets upon death. Keep in mind that the entirety of your estate will not automatically transfer to your spouse under Pennsylvania intestacy laws, so it is important to write a will that outlines your specific preferences.
When you retire
As you approach retirement age, your own health becomes another estate planning matter to consider. Assigning power of attorney and outlining an advance medical directive in your will ensures that your intentions are clear in the event that an injury or illness incapacitates you.
Estate planning is rarely a one-and-done ordeal. As circumstances change for you and your family, it is important that your estate plan changes as well to accommodate your evolving wishes.