When Should I Get an Estate Plan?

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Estate planning is for everyone.

Perhaps you are a young adult.

Maybe you are married with small children.

You could be divorced and remarried.

According to a recent Cincinnati Business Courier article titled “Estate planning considerations for every stage of life,” estate planning is always relevant and necessary.

Young singles should not wait to create an estate plan.
Estate planning is preparation for the unknown.

Death and incapacity can come out of nowhere.

No one wants to think bad things will happen to them unexpectedly.

The risk is too great not to plan for the possibility.

Who will make decisions on your behalf for health care or finances?

Who will receive your assets when you die?

You cannot afford to wait.

As soon as you turn 18, you are recognized as an independent adult and must have documents in place to give your parents authority to act on your behalf should something happen.

At the very least, your estate plan will need powers or attorney for health care and finances, a HIPAA agreement, and a last will.

If you are getting married, especially later when you have significant personal assets, you should consider a premarital agreement.

Because you will now be joining lives and finances to a certain degree, you should update your last will and powers of attorney.

Your estate planning attorney may also recommend adding your spouse as an additional owner or beneficiary of certain accounts.

As you have children, you will want to review and update your plan to include supporting you minor children should something happen to you and your spouse.

Selecting guardians is imperative if you have a specific family member of friend in mind to rear them if you die.

Including a trust in your estate plan will provide greater control and protection of your assets to be managed on behalf of the child.

If you started your own business, that business may be your retirement plan and your inheritance for your family.

Your business will not magically succeed or seamlessly transfer without careful succession planning.

You must work with an experienced estate planning attorney.

No matter what your age, divorce complicates matters.

Be sure to review your plan and update documents and beneficiaries to reflect your new circumstances.

Most people prefer to disinherit their ex-spouse.

When you reach retirement, your children are often grown adults.

Medical issues and death become a more likely reality, so you will need to update and review your estate plan accordingly.

With a lifetime of assets, you should work with an experienced estate planning attorney to minimize your tax impact and streamline the wealth transfer.

As you can see, estate planning is valuable at any life stage.

Do not wait to act.

Reference: Cincinnati Business Courier (Sep. 4, 2019) “Estate planning considerations for every stage of life.”