It is important to be proactive in preparing an estate plan at any age. Creating an estate plan helps ensure that your money and property are handled in direct accordance with your wishes and can alleviate confusion and stress for beneficiaries. Here, the qualified estate planning attorneys at Rodier Family Law discuss the importance of creating an estate plan at an early age, and tips to make sure your estate plan encompasses everything needed to adequately distribute your estate after death.
An Estate Plan Outlines Your Own Wishes
When you are young, establishing an estate plan is likely not a major priority in your mind. When you are in good health, it may seem unnecessary to create an estate plan, but as you get older, your savings, investments and assets are likely to increase. Making sure that your estate is handled properly can bring peace of mind at any age. While your estate plan does not have to be extremely comprehensive at first, incorporating things such as a living trust, financial plan and advanced medical directive can ease the strain on family members in the event you become incapacitated.
An Estate Plan Prepares Your Loved Ones for the Future
While the primary goal of an estate plan is to ensure that your health and assets are handled in accordance with your wishes, creating an estate plan at an early age can set your loved ones up for future success. While no one wants to think about scenarios that can uproot their lives, such as incapacitation or death, being prepared to move forward if these situations do arise is vital. For example, if you have school-aged children, one of your primary goals may be to have a college fund set aside. If you become incapacitated without an estate plan and delegation of your assets, the individual who becomes a legal guardian of your child may not use the money from your estate to provide for your child’s future.
Establishing a clear estate plan early on can help protect your children emotionally and financially during an extremely difficult time. Additionally, during situations in which you are unable to speak for yourself, family members may become stressed, making decisions and causing conflict among loved ones. To prevent unnecessary conflict as your loved ones try to divide your estate, establish a plan to keep tensions low and make the division process easier.
An Estate Plan Alleviates Financial Burden on Beneficiaries
If you pass away without an estate plan, no matter your age, financial burdens may fall on your beneficiaries if an estate plan is not established. While this is an area that is often overlooked, debts, taxes, medical bills and other financial obligations are transferred to your loved ones in the event of your death. For example, if you were involved in an accident that rendered you incapacitated, and you ultimately passed, those medical bills may have to be paid by a family member if you did not have a clear plan established. Furthermore, a lack of estate planning forces your estate to enter the probate process, which can last months or even years. During this time, your loved ones will not be able to access your estate, including your finances, leaving them to pay your bills and additional debts out of their own pockets.
See How the Family Law Attorneys at Rodier Family Law Can Help
It is vital to have an estate plan at any age to ensure that your wishes are properly met. Not only does an estate plan allow you to clearly articulate how you would like your financial matters and health to be handled, but it reduces anxiety and conflict for loved ones who would otherwise have to delegate your estate. To learn more about the estate planning process and how to get started early, contact the Bel Air attorneys at Rodier Family Law today.