Even if you haven’t done your estate planning yet, you probably understand that it’s important to do at some point. You may not feel like you have that many assets, but you will have something to pass on. You can also use your estate plan to make medical decisions in advance.
With all these potential tools to help your family and yourself during the end of your life, it certainly does make sense to create an estate plan. But this does not mean that most Americans have done it. In fact, the majority of them do not have an estate plan at this time. It’s a very concerning trend that could mean a lot of families are going to find that they have no direction when their loved one passes away.
Is it too early to get started?
One reason that people don’t make an estate plan is simply that they think it’s too early. Say that you’re 40 years old and know you need to write a will, but you may not plan to do it until you’re in your 60s or 70s. It’s something that feels like it’s still decades away.
For one thing, remember that you can never predict exactly when your family is going to need that plan. Unexpected events happen all the time. Secondly, you also want to remember that estate plans can be updated. You can’t make it too early because you can do an annual update to ensure that it still aligns with your decisions. In other words, it’s unnecessary to wait until you’re closer to using the estate plan, and it’s less risky for your family if you make it today.
If you have been thinking about this, the first step is to consider exactly what legal options you have.