No matter your age, health, or wealth, you should consider the benefits of having a comprehensive estate plan in place. An estate plan is a collection of documents that can include a will, trust, healthcare directive, and various powers of attorney. When taken collectively, these documents provide individuals with a means to organize both physical and digital assets and create peace of mind for the future.
Too often, people feel their financial worth would preclude them from crafting an estate plan. In truth, numerous events should automatically trigger the creation of an estate plan, including:
- Significant life events: Whether it is a change in marital status or the birth of a child, certain life events make an estate plan a necessity. Basically, these events mean that significant changes have occurred that need to be addressed. People need to account for these changes, whether it is by listing a spouse as primary beneficiary for all assets, naming a guardian, or writing a minor trust to provide financial support for a child.
- Business succession planning: It is now easier than ever to create and run a business through online portals. Whether this occurs on Facebook Marketplace, eBay or another digital storefront, these online businesses must be treated just like their physical counterparts. Many individuals use their estate plan to form a strong succession plan for their business.
- Property purchases: It’s possible to slowly grow net worth through the acquisition of assets. From purchasing real estate to buying new vehicles, take the time to account for these physical assets in an estate plan. A will is a great way to plan for the future distribution of property.
- Digital assets: Much like an online storefront, people can spend years amassing digital assets. These assets can be entertainment collections, social media profiles, blogs, websites, consumer rewards, or cryptocurrencies. Often, these digital assets lack a physical counterpart, so people might overlook their value. In fact, though, online properties often represent significant value and time spent that should not go to waste.
Unfortunately, some people shy away from building an estate plan because they feel that the collection of documents is set in stone once created. In fact, though, an estate plan is a constantly changing representation of your current assets and future plans. Many financial experts suggest people should review and revise their estate plan every three to five years or any time a significant life event occurs. Do not hesitate to craft your comprehensive estate plan.