As you enter your 40s, it's safe to assume that some of your priorities will change.
For example, you're now more focused on growing your career and earning more money. Along with this, your children may be reaching high school or college age. Taking this one step further, your parents are likely to be reaching the latter stages of their life.
While it's common for people to put off estate planning in their 20s and 30s (but not recommended), once you reach your 40s you really need to get serious about this.
With your income changing, your children growing, and your future starting to take shape, you need to make all the most important estate planning decisions. Doing so now will allow you to prevent problems in the future.
Estate planning options
If you already have an estate plan in place, even if it's not perfect, you're on the right track. In this case, it's time to review your plan and make sure that everything still checks out in regards to your finances, family, and future.
Conversely, if you've yet to create an estate plan, you need to take the first steps in doing so. Here are some of the many things to consider:
- A will. This is the most basic estate planning document, giving you the opportunity to decide "who gets what" when you pass on.
- A trust. More advanced than a will, this provides a variety of benefits such as the ability to pass on your assets without them going through probate.
- Life insurance. It goes without saying that you hope to live for many more years. Even so, you need to plan for the unexpected. This means buying the right type and right amount of life insurance.
Everyone is facing a unique set of circumstances, so the approach you take to estate planning will not be identical to the next person.
You're sure to be extremely busy during your 40s, but there is always time to make key decisions related to your estate plan. Doing this will put your mind at ease, knowing that your estate and your family will be well taken care of in the event of your passing. There is nothing better than this peace of mind.