When is the right time to start planning your estate? It really depends on your concern, but we help a range of people plan, from those in their 20’s through the 90’s.
It is especially important to plan if you have young children, or are newly married. You need to ensure a guardian is appointed for your children in case something happens to you and/or your spouse. Also, you want to ensure you have adequate life insurance for your children, and a trust set up in case something happens to you while they are still underage.
If you have grandchildren, you should encourage your children to engage in estate planning if they haven’t already.
Everyone, whether you’re 20 years old or 90 years old, needs a basic estate plan, which includes a will, financial power of attorney, and health care power of attorney (with a living will).
As you build up your 401(k) or IRA, you should see an estate planning attorney to ensure that your beneficiary designation forms are properly completed, and that these accounts are coordinated with your overall estate plan.
When you get into your 60’s, you should consider seeking the advice of an elder law attorney. Medicaid laws make it very difficult to shelter assets in case a spouse goes into a nursing home today. The earlier you plan, the better.
Everyone should update their estate plan every few years, to ensure the documents are still an accurate reflection of your wishes.
As you grow older, your needs will change. You may need more advanced estate planning. Some reasons for needing more advanced planning include:
- Family member with special needs
- Family member with health issues
- Estate value grows
- Property in multiple states
- Family conflicts
- New family members
- Charitable intentions
- Asset protection issues
If we can assist you with any estate planning matters, please do not hesitate to reach out to our office for a complimentary consultation by calling (215) 706-0200.