When Should You Start Estate Planning?

October 06, 2021  

Planning for something, especially something momentous that you know will occur in the future, is generally a wise step to take. While no one wants to think about their own death, it is an important event that can impact your loved ones for many years to come. Planning for what should happen to your property and assets after you pass away can give you the peace of mind that your wishes will be honored and that your loved ones won’t have to face undue stress at such an emotional and life-changing time. But when it’s the right time to start estate planning? An Ohio estate planning attorney can help answer this crucial question.

When to Make an Estate Plan

Many Ohio estate planning lawyers and financial advisors encourage everyone who has reached the age of 18 to start an estate plan. This is the age of legal adulthood. If you die the day after your 18th birthday and don’t have an estate plan in place, your estate will need to go through probate court in accordance with Ohio intestate law. While most 18-year-olds don’t have an extensive estate, it’s still something everyone should be aware of. 

Whether you start estate planning at age 18 or not, there are a few common life events that should make your estate plan a priority. These include: 

  • Opening a savings account—As soon as you open a savings account, the next step should be to designate where those funds would go if you died. You can ensure the money will be passed on to a loved one or cause of your choosing.
  • Home and other additional property ownership—If you purchase a home or other property, you most likely want to avoid lengthy probate court proceedings for your family members or beneficiaries.
  • Marriage or remarriage— Combining property and assets, no matter how many or their value, is an imperative time to start estate planning or make changes to your current estate plan. You should also determine what happens in the event of one spouse’s death, as well as if you and your spouse were to die at the same time.
  • Major travel—It’s also recommended that you update your estate plan before big trips. If you travel for long periods or frequently leave the country, it’s especially crucial. 
  • Birth of a child—One of the most obvious estate planning triggers is becoming a parent. Suppose anything were to happen to you or your child’s other parent. In that case, it’s essential to plan for their guardianship and financial security.
  • Receiving an inheritance—An inheritance can suddenly kick in and provide you with more assets to take care of amid an already difficult time. Update your estate plan as soon as possible to reflect any additional money or assets gained through inheritance.
  • Divorce— The dissolution of a marriage doesn’t automatically change an estate plan. You must change it yourself with any updates about your desires upon your death. If you don’t make changes that reflect your wishes, your ex-spouse could still be given your assets if you die.

Keep in mind that there may be other situations that warrant an estate plan or an update to an already existing estate plan. A knowledgeable Ohio estate planning attorney can help you determine when to prioritize estate planning and guide you in the process.

Contact an Experienced Ohio Estate Planning Attorney Today

If you need an experienced Ohio estate planning lawyer, look no further than Kryszak Law. We can assist you with all aspects of estate planning, no matter your age or the size of your estate. Contact us online today or call us at 440-934-5330 to find out how we can help.