At what age should I start thinking about my estate plan? This is one of the most common questions people ask us at Morris Hall PLLC. Although there is not a specific age per se, the answer is rather simple. Any adult who has assets they would like to protect should have some form of estate plan in place in preparation for unforeseeable circumstances. Of course, the estate plan of a 30-year-old unmarried adult will likely look much different than that of an older individual with a business, a large family, pets, and more costly assets. But regardless of what you have, the process of creating an estate plan is largely the same. Here are some insights from your Estate planning experts at Morris Hall.
Start with Healthcare Preparations and Financial Power of Attorney
When it comes to the future, we will always be confronting uncertainty. No one expects to face severe physical or mental conditions that leave them incapacitated— but it does happen. In the event that these circumstances present themselves, it is important to have healthcare preparations in place. It is also important to designate a financial power of attorney that can make financial decisions on your behalf.
Create a Plan
Individuals can set up trusts that give a designated trustee the right to hold title to property of assets for the benefit of a third party. Trusts offer more control over assets but require a different process that can be slightly more involved. Both wills and trusts are very important and it is recommended that you seek legal counsel as you navigate this part of the estate planning process.
Protect Your Children
Children are one of the biggest motivators for creating an estate plan and there are many things that can be done to make sure their futures are secure. Having a good life insurance policy provides not only peace of mind but financial protection for your children. It is also important to discuss your assets with a trusted professional and determine how they best be distributed at the time of your departure.
Name a Beneficiary
Simply put, a beneficiary is a person who receives the deceased party’s assets. Designating a beneficiary is a very important step. You, as the benefactor have many options when choosing a beneficiary, some of which include:
- One or more people
- The trustee of a trust you’ve established
- A charity or nonprofit organization
- A child under 18 years of age
- Your estate
If a beneficiary is not established, the distribution of your estate will remain unclear. In some cases, this could lead to the loss of your assets.
Prepare for Final Arrangements
What may seem like small details can end up causing undue hardship for individuals and families. Such details include funeral/burial arrangements and proper document management. Make sure your estate plan arrangements are easily accessed by those who will be executing them.
Estate Planning Made Simple
Creating a good estate plan isn’t as easy as writing up a document and locking it away in your desk drawer. There are many things to consider and many opportunities for you and your loved ones to lose out on considerable benefits. For this reason, it is often a good idea to plan your estate with the help of an experienced attorney who will guide you through the many important decisions you will need to make and help you secure a stable future for you and your family. At Morris Hall, we have been working with individuals and families for decades, helping them find peace of mind as they move forward in their lives. If you have any questions with regards to your estate or wish to make preparations for the future, contact us today.