We’ve said it before, and it is important that we say it again: an estate plan is something that you should be organizing and preparing early on in your life. It’s something you don’t realize that you need until you really need it — and then you will wish that you had been planning it all this time.
To make that convoluted paragraph a bit simpler: organize and prepare your estate plan now. Waiting can only increase the risks posed to you and your family and beneficiaries.
For example, if a terrible accident hurts you or puts you in a coma, or if old age robs you of your ability to thoroughly think through some important issues and you don’t have an estate plan, then it can create a lot of issues for your estate. Figuring out how you want your assets and property to be handled when you are in a healthy state of body and mind make your wishes clear, and there is less contention about how you want your estate executed.
Include all of your assets, including your retirement accounts and other beneficiary forms (such as life insurance) in your estate plan. You will also want to update this estate plan regularly, given that certain life events are likely to happen (marriage, divorce, birth of a child, etc.).
In addition, you should take account of all of your digital assets. Bill paying sites, online banking accounts and credit card accounts are all vital components of your life that you will want to include in your estate plan.
Source: NerdWallet, “10 Keys to Proper Estate Planning,” Michael Chamberlain, March 11, 2016