When Should You Do an Estate Plan?

A Minneapolis Estate Planning Lawyer Explains When to Do an Estate Plan

One of the most common questions I receive as an estate planning lawyer when you should start thinking about estate planning. While earlier is always better, we know that everyone’s life circumstances are a little bit different, and your estate planning needs are unique from someone else’s. Having said that, there are a few indicators which can be signs that it is time for you to start the estate planning process.


Marriage is a happy occasion, but it also brings with it a responsibility to care for your spouse. Your vows may say “till death do us part,” but your responsibility to care for your partner extends after you die. If you want to make sure your loved one is completely provided for, you need to have a plan in place in the event you unexpectedly pass away. Estate planning will make sure they receive your assets according to your wishes and do not have to worry about how they are going to provide for themselves in your absence.


Once you finalize your divorce, you expect to have minimal to no contact with your former spouse again. While most states recognize that your former spouse has no rights to your assets following a divorce, this does not prevent vengeful, bitter, or misguided spouses from suing to get some of your assets when you pass away. The best way to make sure your assets go to the people you want in the manner you want is to work with an estate planning attorney to clearly outline this in a will, create trusts, or undertake any other estate planning.

Having Children

For many people, having a child is the first time they really begin to see the value of having an estate plan. Whether it is your first child or an addition to your growing family, you quickly begin to understand the importance of having a plan in place to take care of them when you pass away, especially if it happens before you expect it to happen. As an experiences estate planning attorney, I will work with you to make sure your assets are used to provide for your children’s education, healthcare, or any other needs. We will also work to ensure you have a properly designated guardian chosen with your values, concerns and diligence in place.

Changes in Health

If you find yourself diagnosed with a significant health issue, now is the time to begin estate planning, if you have not already done so. Not only does estate planning help make sure your loved ones will be cared for after you pass, it is also one of the best ways to ensure your assets are maximized to cover your treatment and care costs. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you understand how your insurance and savings interact with Medicaid and other government programs. However, do NOT wait until you are sick. And given this past year, we must now consider a new category for planning.

A Global Pandemic

If 2020 taught us anything (besides how to use Zoom), it is that life is unpredictable and no one knows what the future holds. I received numerous calls from clients wanting to draft or update and estate plan as they were worried about being exposed to Covid-19. Then, they would find out the were negative and drop the planning. The time to plan is BEFORE you become sick. Having worked with clients who wait and end up planning when they are sick, I can honestly say all of them would have preferred doing this when well. Anyone who is ill has better things to do than “meet” with me, even on Zoom.

At Unique Estate Law, we know that estate planning is “one of those things” people mean to get to, but delay. However, chances are good that something has already happened in your life that makes estate planning an essential priority for you and your loved ones! Chris Tymchuck has extensive experience helping clients get started with estate planning, no matter what is happening in their life, and is ready to answer all of your questions. Contact Unique Estate Law today to learn more.