The average adult in Colorado knows they might benefit from an estate plan but will continue procrastinating and putting off the actual process of drafting documents. Some people will delay for too long and will experience a medical emergency or die without having testamentary documents or advance directives in place.
Any adult may want to take the time to create a will and other documents for their own protection if they have not already invested the time to do so. Anyone who has recently experienced one of the three occurrences listed below will have even more reason to start estate planning soon.
You have added to your family
Did you just get married after living alone for decades? Your estate plan can protect your new spouse. In fact, if you have a romantic partner that you don’t intend to marry, estate planning can be particularly important for that person, as they have no inheritance right unless you create your own documents.
Those who have recently added children to their family will also benefit from estate planning, as they can choose a guardian for their children and set aside resources for their care until they become adults.
You have just become a homeowner
Your real property is both a major asset and a significant obligation. It will likely be decades until you have paid off your mortgage, which means that inheriting the home comes with certain requirements.
You can act now to put protections in place to help pay off your mortgage if anything happens to you and to ensure the right person takes ownership of the home or has the responsibility of selling it.
You have a medical challenge in your future
If your primary care physician just diagnosed you with cancer or a degenerative condition, you may need to think earnestly about what will happen if you were to die and about your medical wishes if your condition progresses to the point of incapacitation.
For some people, the wake-up call that they need to finally start estate planning will be when they have health challenges. For others, it may be a loved one going through a medical hardship that makes them realize they have not yet adequately prepared for their own protection and the protection of the people who love them.
Recognizing when it is time for you to create a comprehensive estate plan can help you take action before it’s too late to protect yourself and the people you love.