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Even the young should consider updating their estate plan

If you've read a lot of our blog posts, then you might get the impression that estate planning is only for people who are retirement age and older. That's because a lot of our posts focus on the importance of having a solid estate plan when you're older and the problems you and your loved ones can run into when a plan is less than ironclad.

But as we have pointed out in a few of our posts, estate planning should be considered at just about any age. That's because, as we have stressed many times before, life can be unpredictable, which means you want to put a plan in place before it's too late. That having been said, we'd like to direct today's post toward the younger generation, particularly newlyweds, who are just as encouraged to update their estate plan as our older readers are.

As most experienced estate planning professionals will tell you, it's a good idea to update your estate plan after a major life event such as, but not limited to: a birth or death in the family, purchase of a home or other property, the addition of an insurance policy, and yes, even marriage. That's because many life events can change who receives part of your estate, how much will be distributed to them and even if they receive anything at all, such as in the case of divorce.

So what should newlyweds take into consideration about their own estate plan? Well, as we have said before, most people name their spouse as the beneficiary of bank accounts, retirement accounts, property and insurance policies. Once you've signed the marriage certificate, you should consider updating these important documents so that your assets are going where you want them to go when you die.

Other things to consider are your will, health care directives and who you want to name as power of attorney. All of these are important parts of an estate plan and are a great thing to establish, especially after getting married. Although estate planning services are offered on the Internet now, it's not a bad idea to speak with an experience estate planning attorney as well. Because of their experience, you know you'll be doing it right and avoiding a lot of the mistakes that can result in legal issues for your loved ones down the road.

Source: Financial Planning, "5 Estate Planning Essentials for Newlyweds," Tracy Craig, March 23, 2015

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