When Should You Establish An Estate Plan?

End of life is something no one wants to think about, but it will inevitably happen to all of us. Being prepared by setting up an estate plan at the Lake of the Ozarks can make things much easier on our relatives after we pass and can ensure that our wishes are met after we are no longer in the physical realm.

Many people ask our estate planning attorney in Osage Beach MO when they should set up their estate plan. However, there is not a single right time to do it; every person's situation is different. This week, we want to explore some of the different situations in which you might want to consider setting up your estate plan or, if you already have a plan in place, updating your existing plan to meet your current needs.

Events In Your Life That Might Trigger The Need To Have An Estate Plan Include...

Buying Your First Car Or Home
When you own property, it's important to dictate what should happen to it when you pass away. Do you want a relative or friend to inherit it? Do you want it to be sold and have the resulting cash donated to your favorite charity? Whatever you choose, you will want to use a will or other estate planning tool to communicate your wishes.

Getting Married Or Divorced
Being joined in marriage to another person is an amazing and momentous experience. It's no small matter to commit to a lifetime together. Similarly, getting divorced is incredibly significant. Regardless of whether you are getting married or divorced, it's important to make sure your estate plan reflects your new marital status.

Having Children
Having children is one of the most rewarding and life-changing experiences anyone can imagine. When you become a parent your life is not solely your own anymore; your existence revolves around caring for your dependent child. Nominating the person to act as your child's legal guardian in the event that something happens to you is a big responsibility and one that can be done through a properly executed will.

Receiving An Inheritance
When your financial situation changes drastically, you will want to make sure that your estate plan reflects your current position. If you receive an inheritance, chances are you will come into possession of extra funds or additional property that may require attention after you pass. If you receive an inheritance (or experience some other sort of financial windfall), take the time to visit with your attorney to set up or update your estate plan.

Joining Two Families In Marriage
We have already discussed the importance of establishing or updating your estate plan when you get married, but it's especially important for couples who enter their second marriage. Chances are that by the time you get married for the second time, you will already have children or assets from a previous marriage. Your estate plan can help you identify how you would like your combined assets to be distributed to your respective families when you pass away.

Starting Your Own Business
As a business owner, you are responsible for the success of your company. You will probably have plenty of advance notice and time to get a succession plan in place before you retire, but there is no way to predict if/when you will be in an accident or be diagnosed with a serious illness. For the sake of your company and employees, consider setting up an estate plan with instructions for how your business should be handled if something happens to you.

Questions About Estate Planning? We Are Here For You.

Estate planning can be daunting and confusing, but our experienced team is here to make the process easier. At O'Donnell Law Center, we will talk with you to determine what is most important to you, how you want to be remembered, and how to address the difficult decisions. Above all else, our goal will always be to take the burden off of your shoulders.

We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.

Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065

(Located on the McDonald's Side of the Building)


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