At What Age Should You Begin Estate Planning?
One of the pitfalls of estate planning is that many people believe it does not apply to them. Many say they “are not old enough” or “don’t have enough money.” However, estate planning is something that should be discussed at every stage of life. An estate plan is like wearing a seatbelt. It gives the user peace of mind and protects them and their loved ones in times of need.
People in their 30’s, or even their 20’s, should consider estate planning with the following three documents in mind.
Power of Attorney
Anyone over the age of 18, regardless of financial assets, should name their Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney is someone who makes key decisions in the event you become incapacitated. There are two main types of Power of Attorney to consider here: financial and medical. This is someone to handle medical decisions (operation or treatment) and financial decisions (property and assets).
A Power of Attorney can be a close friend or spouse. However, make sure this person understands the medical/financial field and knows your wishes ahead of time.
A will covers the inheritance of all property and assets, except those placed into a trust. Particularly after you have children, a will is an important document that states who will look after your children should they be left without their legal guardian(s). It can also specify your wishes for funeral arrangements. Even healthy parents should take this precautionary step to ensure the best life for their children.
Unlike a will, which covers all assets in your name, a trust covers a specific property of your choosing. Once a person owns property, it may be time to consider who will inherit the land in the event of an accident. Like wills, trusts can help distribute property after death, but they have a few benefits that wills do not. For example, a trust can help you save money on taxes and plan for disability. To find out whether a will or trust is right for you, it’s best to talk to an attorney.
Trusts and other documents save surviving members the lengthy process of going to court. Preparing for the worst not only provides peace of mind for yourself but for surviving family members. A simple consultation can protect your loved ones from months or years of legal work. Contact us for a consultation today.