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Why you need to plan your estate at every life stage

People often associate estate planning with the end of one's life. Perhaps this is why a mere 36 percent of Americans have established a will. Rather than wait until you are elderly, though, it is a good idea to start planning your estate as soon as possible. You have different needs at every stage of your life, and your estate plan should reflect this. Estate planning is a continual process, not a one-time thing.

Consider the following reasons for establishing and updating your estate plan throughout every stage of your life. No matter what kind of property you have or what your expectations for the future might be, establishing your estate plan is one of the best investments you can make in your future. 

Provide for new family

Whether you are getting married or welcoming a child into the world, expanding your family is one of the most exciting parts of anybody's life. While this joyous new phase preoccupies you, it is understandable that estate planning would be the last thing on your mind. Adding to your family, however, necessitates that you ensure you have provided for them regardless of what happens.

Adapt to changing needs

Additions to the family are not the only reason to establish or update your estate plan. Your needs and abilities change gradually, so while you might have had limited assets to account for at age 21, at age 30, you are likely to be in a different situation. You should update your estate plan to account for your changing needs as you grow older. 

Prepare for the future

Of course, the older you get, the more important it is that you have an estate plan established. You need to provide for your loved ones and ensure that your final wishes are honored. Outlining this in your estate plan is an important step, and it is the most effective way to prepare for the future. 

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