There are some popular misconceptions regarding estate planning that we would like to touch upon that are useful to keep in mind. The first thing that people should understand is that estate planning is not something that you take care of forever in one sitting. Things change as life marches on, and the strategies that made sense five or ten years ago may not make sense in today’s world given the specifics of your circumstances.
Things take place in your own life and in the society at large that can impact your estate plan regularly. If you want to be truly prepared for every eventuality you need to be ready to react to the world around you and make ongoing adjustments as they become necessary.
The other thing that we would like to emphasize is that estate planning is relevant to all adults, even younger people. It is very likely that the quality of life that you and your spouse enjoy requires two incomes. If one of you were to pass away suddenly in an accident or come down with a catastrophic illness and pass away, where would the other be financially?
This question is even more profound if you have children. If you and your spouse were to both pass away together in an accident, and you leave no instructions or financial resources behind, what happens to your kids? Clearly you need to carry adequate life insurance and name a chosen guardian for the children at the very least.
Estate planning can seem to some like a “one-shot deal” that never needs to be revised and is only really relevant to people in their eighties. If this is your understanding, you may want to rethink your stance and consider what your sudden absence might mean to your loved ones.
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