As an estate planning law firm serving the Raleigh, NC area, we often get asked when someone should think about setting up an estate plan. In our opinion, an estate plan is always important, but there are some specific times in someone’s life where it’s an even better time to look into setting one up.

Here are four times when one should set up an estate plan:

  1. When one becomes a legal adult: Many people think that if kids are still at home or are college students, that the parents are still guardians and can handle a child’s estate. This is not so. Once a child is a legal adult, their estate is theirs to manage. This is especially important to note when it comes to health matters, where information won’t be automatically shared with a parent in case of an emergency.
  2. When one gets married or divorced: After a marriage or divorce, beneficiaries will change, so it’s a good time to set up an estate plan.
  3. When one has children: Once a person has children, an estate changes focus from managing belongings to making sure loved ones are taken care of. Establishing an estate plan or updating an existing one is one of the best ways to make sure children will be taken care of should something happen to the person.
  4. When one becomes older: As people age, the focus of an estate plan once again shifts. At this point, usually (hopefully) kids can fend for themselves and the estate plan is now about the legacy one wants to leave and end of life wishes.

An estate plan should be created or updated for each life stage. As people hit these milestones in life, the goal of an estate plan shifts slightly. It’s a good time to review estate plans to make sure all assets are updated. Contact Thornton Law Firm if you have any questions about setting up a plan.