The misconception around estate planning is that it’s only necessary when you’re older. That’s not the case. Estate planning is beneficial for everyone – regardless of age, family size, or amount of assets.
Estate planning allows you to make plans for the future, and it’s important for everyone. This blog will explain a few different scenarios and how an estate plan has its advantages.
#1 – Older couples who need care
Elderly couples may already be getting their affairs in order, and they might have an estate plan from years ago that needs some updating.
This group of people should make sure their estate plan includes the following:
- Power of attorney – A contract that assigns a friend or relative as an “agent” who will make financial or medical decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated.
- Advanced medical directive – In the case of a severe injury or illness, a medical directive informs your doctors of what kinds of life-saving procedures – if any – you want performed.
These items are incredibly essential to include in an estate plan as they can help determine crucial steps toward the end of your life.
#2 – Young families with few assets
Newlyweds or new parents may not think they need an estate plan. However, there’s no better time than a significant life change to begin estate planning.
If you are recently married or recently had kids, an estate plan is critical as it helps you outline specific details for your family’s future. For example, newlyweds should add their new spouse as the beneficiary on a 401(k). Your assets may not be extremely sizeable at this time, but you must name the right person as the recipient in case of an untimely death.
Similarly, new parents can use estate planning to update their will and name a guardian for their child. A legally appointed guardian is a trusted relative or friend who can help raise your child if you pass away before your child is an adult.
#3 – Middle-aged people planning for retirement
Those in the middle of the earlier two personas might be stable middle-aged men and women who have steady jobs and significant assets. You might have a small business, a couple of kids, and you’re worried about how to factor retirement and long-term care into your future.
Estate planning can help. It allows you to list out all your assets – your home, your retirement savings, or your life insurance – and will help make sure you have the right beneficiaries and heirs for each. You can create a succession plan for your business to pass it along to a son or daughter.
Make the right decisions
Estate planning isn’t the same process for everyone. We all have separate needs and wishes for the future. As you make your plans, you should consult with an experienced estate planning attorney. We offer monthly public estate planning seminars that can help you make the right decisions for your needs.