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Estate planning is best done as early in life as possible

Putting off the creation of your last will isn't the most responsible decision, but it is a common one. Many people like to tell themselves that waiting until retirement, or right before it, is the best time to formalize plans for after they die. Sadly, for a portion of those people procrastinating, the result could be leaving loved ones unprotected in the event of their sudden or unexpected death.

While you may hope for a long retirement and plenty of time to plan for the care of your loved ones, you never know when you may get into an accident or suffer a sudden medical event like cardiac arrest or a stroke. Creating a last will or estate plan as early in life as possible is the best way to protect your loved ones and your own peace of mind.

If you have assets or dependents, you need a will

While the state of North Carolina does have a process in place to manage the assets of those who die intestate (without a will), the end result can be quite different from what you want. The probate court and state law, rather then your own wishes and preferences, will guide the process of disbursing your assets in the event of your sudden death. Creating a will ensures that your assets and belongings end up with the people you want to receive them.

Parents of small children also need to plan for a will as soon as possible. If something were to happen that leaves you either deceased or unable to care for the children, naming a guardian ensures that your children won't end up in state custody or a foster home.

You can always update your will at a later time

The good news about early estate planning is that you can always update your last will to reflect changes in your personal wishes or your family. If you marry, get divorced, have a child or lose a loved one, you have the right and ability to adjust your last will or even create a completely new one that reflects your situation.

There will always be changes and challenges in your life that will have an impact on your plans for the future. Waiting until everything feels settled for the creation of your last will or estate plan could mean putting the whole process off until it's too late. Once you have people who depend on you or assets worth allocating, like a life insurance policy or a house, it's time to start the process. Not only will doing so give you control over your own legacy, it will provide you and your family with peace of mind about your future.

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