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Estate planning is something to handle early in life

Far too many people think that estate planning is something for you to worry about when you retire. Doing that can prove to be a major mistake. While everyone hopes to live a long and healthy life, you never know when an accident or sudden medical event could leave you incapacitated or even dead. Estate planning now can protect the people you love, as well as your assets and medical preferences, if your life takes an unexpected turn.

Generally speaking, if you have dependents (a spouse or children), a home or a lucrative career, it's time to think about estate planning. Creating an estate plan that outlines your medical wishes about issues like life support or organ donation, as well as the division and allocation of your assets early in life, provides you with peace of mind and your loved ones with more security.

Estate planning protects your loved ones and assets

Even if you aren't married and have no children, if you've accumulated some significant assets, like a house, you need to create a last will or estate plan. In fact, doing so is even more important for those who are unmarried. If you die without a will in Massachusetts, your family members will simply receive your assets and estate. However, everything will need to go through probate court first.

If you don't create a will and estate plan, as well as naming an executor, assets could end up in trouble. Taxes and other bills could go unpaid, leading to tax liens and other issues. You also won't have control over how the courts allocate your assets. Do you really want everything you own to go to your brother or cousin? If not, you should take the time to name heirs and assign your assets to the people you love and provide for, as well as charities you support.

You can always update your estate plan

The great thing about estate planning is that it is generally quite flexible. You will have the ability to make changes, updates and corrections for as long as you're alive and in full control of your mental faculties. Concern about an estate plan or will becoming outdated is one of the main reasons people give about putting off the planning process.

Once you have an established estate plan, it doesn't take much time or investment to update it to reflect changes in your life. If you've married, gotten divorced, lost a spouse or child to death, gained substantial assets or expanded your family, updating your estate plan or last will to reflect those changes will be simple. You can also make changes to medical directives to reflect a new diagnosis or change the person named as guardian for your children.

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