Estate Planning | Who Needs an Estate Plan
Estate Planning | You might think that only elderly people with large amounts of assets and money need an estate plan. While they certainly do need a plan, they are not the only ones. Starting early is recommended but whatever your stage of life, it is never too late to get started.
Young, single individuals should consider beginning their estate planning as soon as they are able. Starting early can make the process simpler. It is also a good time to develop long term goals for retirement. Making small contributions and adjustments over a longer period of time keeps the process from feeling overwhelming and unattainable.
Once married, individuals should consider making a plan, as soon they are able to do so, for their joint assets, as well as provide for each other should one of them become incapacitated or pass away. Should children be added to the family, the plan should be reviewed to be sure the futures of those children are protected. During this time, it may be advisable to create trusts for the future needs of the children such as college or other training.
Should a marriage end in divorce, the plan should be reviewed again to change beneficiaries and make other changes as needed to be sure that assets are distributed per the individual’s wishes.
Other life events such as death of a beneficiary should also trigger a review of the plan.
Needs and goals should be discussed early on with an attorney experienced in estate planning. An estate plan is not a stagnant product to be left untouched once it is put in place. Instead, it should be reviewed and altered as needed. Starting early and building with age is the best way to be sure that the senior years are as stress free as possible.
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