Quite a few people will put off estate planning as long as they feasibly can, and many people wind up not having a last will or other important documentation in place when it turns out they actually need it. Creating a comprehensive estate plan means really thinking about worst-case scenarios and what you want to happen after you die, which is not pleasant.
However, taking care of these concerns now will give you security and ensure your loved ones will have adequate protection if anything happens to you. The following are situations that indicate it may be time to begin estate planning.
You have a spouse, children or other dependents
Once you get married or have children, there are people who rely on you for financial and social stability. If anything were to happen to you, they could wind up not only struggling with your loss but also with financial hardship, especially if your estate must go through probate for them to access certain assets.
Additionally, when you have children or other dependents, like a special-needs sibling who lives with you, having language in your last will that names a guardian for them is also an important protection.
You’ve bought a house or acquired other valuable assets
The more valuable your estate, the more important it is that you take the time to allocate your possessions to others in the event that something happens. If you die without a last will and you don’t have any immediate family members, it’s possible that the state of Mississippi could eventually take the assets from your estate. Whether you want to leave things for a loved one or charity, committing those intentions to writing protects your wishes and your assets.
Your family has a history of medical issues
Whether you have a family history of heart disease, clotting issues that could lead to a stroke or Alzheimer’s disease later in life, planning for those potential problems now protects you and the people you love. An estate plan includes not just a last will but also other documents, like an advance medical directive, that will guide people in making medical decisions if you wind up incapacitated because of a heart attack or a stroke.