Does Life Stage Impact Estate Planning?

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Estate planning needs vary according to age and life stage.

People change throughout their lives.

Perhaps you have noticed this.

Not only do we grow physically from infancy to adulthood, but new goals and priorities also develop.

These influence choices within various areas over our lifespans.

According to a recent The Seattle Times article titled “Estate planning needs vary at every stage of your life,” estate planning is greatly impacted by life stage.

Life stage impacts estate planning goals.
Marriage marks one life stage where estate plans should be updated.

Although any adult would benefit from estate planning, there are certain life stage triggers when you should have an estate plan or, if you have an estate plan, have it reviewed.

What are some of these?

Welcoming a new member of the family.

Although any adult should have an estate plan, many people wait until they are married or welcome their first child.

An experienced estate planning attorney will guide you through your options based on state law and your specific goals.

You will enjoy peace of mind knowing your loved ones, big and little, will be protected if something happens to you.

Midlife challenges.

Those in midlife are in the throws of rearing children and caring for aging parents.

During this life stage, you should encourage your parents to create financial and health care power of attorney documents.

If you are involved in their care, you should be given (HIPAA) authority to speak with their physicians and help them manage their affairs.

You should also encourage them to outline their estate planning and incapacity wishes in legal documents to provide guidance regarding end-of-life treatments and the distribution of assets.

Before and after retirement.

As people enter retirement, they often experience greater health issues.

If this includes you, then you should be reviewing and updating your own estate planning documents.

The people you named as agents and heirs may no longer be relevant at this stage of your life.

Even if they are, you may have had more grandchildren enter your life and you may wish to include them in your estate distribution.

Schedule an appointment with an experienced estate planning attorney as you enter each life stage.

Reference: The Seattle Times (Oct. 17, 2022) “Estate planning needs vary at every stage of your life”

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