The Right Time to Start Estate Planning
Updated: Aug 12
At mlaw, one of the most frequent questions we are asked is “When should I start Estate Planning?” If you are 18 years of age or older, the time to start planning your estate is now!
Have you considered what happens to your possessions and assets after you die? We must ask ourselves this question at several points in our lives. A proper estate plan guarantees that your final wishes are fulfilled and that your loved ones will be taken care of after your passing. For most young adults, Estate Planning is the last thing on their minds, which is to be expected.
There are a few common life events that warrant the prioritization of your Estate Planning that should never be overlooked. Regardless of your age, it's important to consider life events as signs that an Estate Plan should be developed or updated. In our role as legal adults, we make money that goes into things such as savings accounts and retirement investment accounts. We purchase cars and homes. As we grow older, we get married and have children. Throughout our lives, we may start a business, get divorced, or welcome grandchildren into our lives. We may buy second homes, experience a significant health diagnosis, inherit assets, or begin caring for a loved one in need. Life milestones such as these necessitate a level of protection that only an estate plan can provide. An estate plan consists of more than just a will. An estate plan usually consists of several actions and documents, each of which serves a particular purpose. Making a will, establishing a trust, nominating a guardian, and establishing a power of attorney are some essential elements of an estate plan.
Making a Will
Every legal adult should have a will. In a will, you can specify how your assets and property will be distributed following your death, designate someone to be your healthcare Power of Attorney and financial Power of Attorney, and specify other preferences, such as what should happen if you become incapacitated. Having a will is essential to ensuring that your wishes are carried out in the event of the worst-case scenario. Making a will is important for anyone who wishes to protect their assets.
Creating a Trust
A trust should be considered by individuals who have significant assets. If you pass away, a trust provides you with more control over what happens to your assets. Unlike property protected by a will, property held in a trust may be exempt from probate and certain fees and taxes. An experienced estate planning lawyer in St. Petersburg can assist you in navigating the various types of trusts available to you.
Nominating a Guardian
You should nominate a guardian to take care of your child if something should happen to you. You typically nominate a guardian in a will, so if you already have a will, it should be updated with this information. If you already have children but have not named a guardian, it is time to speak with a St. Petersburg Estate Planning lawyer.
Creating a Power of Attorney
It is likely that when you create a will, you will designate one or more Powers of Attorney. A Power of Attorney document gives someone you choose the power to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated and unable to make choices for yourself. Most people designate a Power of Attorney for their healthcare and financial affairs. Both documents should be included in the comprehensive estate plan of every adult of legal age.
When Should You Update Your Estate Plan
It is recommended that you update your estate plan every three to five years or when you experience a significant life change. You should review your estate plan whenever you start a business, acquire property, get married, get divorced, have a baby or grandchild, inherit money, get a serious health diagnosis, or establish a new investment account. If someone you have assigned a significant role is unable to fulfill their duties, you should update your estate plan. Whenever a nominee passes away, becomes ill, moves out of the state, or otherwise is unable to fulfill his or her duties, it is time to name a replacement as soon as possible.
Contact us if you have any questions about Estate Planning. At mlaw, we have the answers you need and provide free consultations. Contact us if you are seeking a St. Petersburg Estate Planning attorney to assist you in planning and protecting your future, so you can have peace of mind that you and your loved ones will be taken care of.