Estate planning isn't something that many people look forward to. However, it is the responsible thing for any adult to do, particularly if you have a spouse or dependent children. Waiting until you reach retirement age could leave your family in a very vulnerable position. It may feel morbid to acknowledge, but you could die suddenly without any notice.
An accident at work, a motor vehicle collision or a sudden medical event, like a heart attack, could happen without any warning. If you don't have a last will and estate plan in place when that happens, your family could get stuck in legal limbo.
Estate planning protects your loved ones
When you don't take the time to prepare, a sudden death could mean financial disaster for your family. Although your spouse will receive your assets, your estate may need to go through Texas probate court first, a process which could take many months. Taking the time to prepare now can protect your loved ones from being unable to pay bills or even losing the home you shared due to foreclosure.
Estate planning also lets you set medical directives in stone. Do you want to remain on life support or be an organ donor? These important medical decrees can get set in stone for your loved ones to follow.
Do you hope to leave certain items to particular family members or friends? Outlining your specific wishes helps to ensure that your wishes are followed. That can give you peace of mind and make you feel prepared for just about anything. So long as your last will and estate plan comply with Texas law, you'll know that your loved ones are protected.
Your estate plan can always get updated
You may think it's too early to create an estate plan and last will, but there is no thing as too early if you own any notable assets. Once you have an estate plan in place, it is relatively simple to make changes as needed when life changes. Perhaps you marry or divorce. Maybe you have a new baby or perhaps a friend passes away.
When that happens, the terms of your estate plan can easily get updated to reflect your current life. Even if nothing major happens, you'll want to review your estate plan and will every five years or so to ensure that you still agree with the terms that you originally created.
Putting off your estate planning until everything in your life is "set in stone" leaves your family vulnerable. As soon as you've acquired a home or decided to get married, you should be thinking about the long-term protection and stability of your family. Taking control of your assets and your future is an empowering process, not a morbid one. You'll likely feel a greater peace of mind knowing that your last wishes will be carried out.