When Should I Start Estate Planning?

Estate planning is one of the most important things that’s easy to put off. After all, none of us really knows when our “time” is going to be, so we just assume that it’ll happen in the distant future.

When we run with that assumption, it’s easy to put off on making a plan for our family’s future because we “can always start tomorrow.” The thing is, unfortunately, anyone’s “time” can come at any time, and not everyone has a tomorrow.

Tragedy can strike because of an accident or unknown medical condition, or perhaps someone living with a terminal disease ends up having less time than they thought. This is why the best time to start estate planning is always right now.

Start Building Your Estate Plan Now

Did you just turn 18? Start your estate plan now. Did you recently get married or have a baby? Start your estate plan now. Did you celebrate your retirement today? Start your estate plan now. Regardless of your age, wealth, or health, now is the best possible time to begin your estate plan if you don’t already have one.

That said, the complexity of your estate plan will vary according to where you’re at in life. If you are relatively young, unmarried, and don’t have kids, you probably won’t need much more than a will, advanced directives for medical care, and a power of attorney to manage your financial affairs. If you are married and have kids and a home, you should have all of those things plus a trust to help your property transfer to your spouse or kids without going through probate.

The point is that building an estate plan can be as simple or complex as you need it to be, but there are often factors in your life that will direct that complexity. You should also be looking for opportunities to improve your estate plan once important events occur, such as marriage or divorce, birth or adoption of children, or accumulating high-value assets like real estate.

Conclusion

If you don’t already have an estate plan or haven’t updated yours in quite some time, the best time to start is right now. Waiting for the “right” time can mean spending time you may not have, potentially putting your loved ones in a difficult position should they have to deal with your affairs sooner than expected.

If you would like guidance and support through the estate planning process, turn to the attorneys at Lackey | McDonald, PLLC for help.

Get in touch with us online now to get started today.

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