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At What Age Should I Start Estate Planning?

Gene Kirzhner Aug. 10, 2021

Although it may not be fun to think about, you may want to consider what will happen to your property and assets after you pass away. With an estate plan, you can be confident your wishes will be honored, and your loved ones are taken care of after you are gone.

Most financial advisors will begin recommending you create an estate plan as soon as you become a legal adult. This is because you become entirely responsible for your healthcare, power of attorney, and finances as soon as you turn 18.

The following life events may urge you to prioritize, start, or update your estate plan:

  • Creation of a savings account

  • Ownership of a home or any additional property

  • Marriage or remarriage

  • Travel

  • Birth of your children or grandchildren

  • Inheritance of assets

  • Divorce

When to Appoint a Guardian

As you prepare for the birth of your first child, you should put some thought into who will be their guardian in the unfortunate case something were to happen to you. While this is not what most new parents want to focus on, it is essential that you set your child up for success and security. While guardians are typically named in your will, there are also state-specific Nomination of Guardian documents that can be submitted.

When to Make a Will

As stated above, you should make a will as soon as you become a legal adult or experience any of the aforementioned major life events. Unfortunately, most families are left to deal with the death of their loved ones, as well as the burden of making the decisions that should have been written in their will.

When to Create a Trust

If you already have a will or have substantial assets, you should consider making a trust. Trusts allow for more flexibility, privacy, and control over your assets while you are still alive, and can even help you avoid the probate process. In addition, you can avoid additional fees and taxes when your assets transfer to beneficiaries when you create a trust.

When You Should Update Your Estate Plan

As stated above, you should update your estate plan every time you reach a milestone that increases your wealth or impacts how you want to distribute your assets. You can also simply update your estate plan every three to five years. Unfortunately, we never know what tomorrow will bring, so it is crucial that you prepare your loved ones to be in the best position when you are gone. 

If you would like to discuss your estate and begin planning for your future, contact The Law Offices of Howe and Garside. Our experienced and qualified attorneys can help keep you informed and, most importantly, help you achieve the best possible outcome. We look forward to hearing from you!