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When do I need an Estate Plan?

Posted by Scott M. Peterson | Dec 15, 2020

When do I need an Estate Plan?

One of the great misconceptions about planning is that it's only for the “rich.”  That average young families don't need to plan.  That the system will “work it out.”

This could not be further from the truth.  Sure, the system will work things out, except that it will not for a second stop and ask what you actually wanted to achieve?  Instead, the system will apply a blanket set of rules to your estate.

So when is the best time for an Estate Plan?  The answer is now. 

More specifically, any time you have a significant life event.

Did you get married?  That's a good time.

Did you buy your first home?  That's a good time.

Did you have your first child?  That's a good time.

Have a second child?

Lose a parent?

Receive an inheritance?

Have a third child?

See your children off to college?

See your children get married?

The list is long, because there are many, many events in life that should give rise to the need to plan. 

Each of the life events about represents a significant moment, and a moment that creates decisions that will need to be made in the event of your disability or death. 

And the thing is, each of these life events brings on new decisions; new responsibilities.  Your ideas about what is important, where things should go, may change.  Your ideas about end of life care may change.  Your ideas about who should make decisions about your children's well-being may change.

And change is good; in this case it's a sign of growth.  But if you do not change your planning as well, you might very well find that your desires are not met.

So the short answer is that now is the right time to start Estate Planning.  But remember, good planning is not a “set it and forget it.”  It's a long term, annual revisit approach.  At least that's how it looks when done the right way.

Need to schedule time to discuss a plan?  Click here to schedule today.  We look forward to working with you.

About the Author

Scott M. Peterson

Scott M. Peterson is the founding partner of D'Orazio Peterson, having left a partnership at a large regional law firm to limit his practice and focus on helping people protect their families.

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