Part 2: When Do You Begin Thinking About an Estate Plan?

by Jack Morrison on August 18, 2011

Welcome to the second article in our 2-part series, “When Do You Begin Thinking About an Estate Plan?” (Did you catch the first article?) Although the answer is simple—when something significant changes in your life—making that first step isn’t always so easy.

Have you experienced a significant event recently? This includes: 

  • Buying a house
  • Getting married
  • Having a baby
  • Getting divorced
  • Remarrying
  • Getting ill
  • Acquiring an asset 

Last week we discussed buying a house and getting married. Now we’ll discuss two more scenarios: starting a family and getting divorced.

  • Starting a Family: Starting a family marks a turning point in your life: you have to think about other people besides just yourself. Until kids reach a certain age, they are totally dependent on their parents’ ability to provide for them. If something should happen, your kids will go into the care of the guardian you designate for them. But what if you pass away without creating a will or designate a guardian? This is a nightmare for families to resolve. Not to mention a nightmare for the kids in the interim.
  • Getting Divorced: Divorce signifies a physical and emotional break-up. The divorce itself legally separates the assets of both parties. But it’s important to make sure that everything else is done correctly…that the life insurance policy is changed to reflect new beneficiaries…that IRAs name new beneficiaries. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. There are other things you need to do. Divorce, in general, voids any gift to the former spouse. But now you need to update and redo your will to accurately confirm your current wishes.

Are you ready to take the next step and make sure you’ve properly planned for you and your loved ones?

My name is Attorney Jack Morrison. As a Clinton and Worcester Estate Planning Lawyer, I assist clients every day with creating and updating their Massachusetts estate plans. Call my office at 508.852.7800 or reach out via our contact form.