Sometimes, life takes you by surprise and you don’t know what the future will look like. One moment, everything is going perfectly fine in your life and the next moment, a mishap changes everything. It is at times like these that cause you to work on your estate plan. If you are unsure about when to start estate planning, here are a few common times when you should seriously start thinking about your estate.
- Buying new property: Once you sign the purchase agreement for a house or commercial property, you must have an estate plan in place. It will prevent the assets from becoming involved in lengthy probate processes. You might also create a trust to keep the assets out of the hands of the probate court and guarantee the survival of your company.
- When you begin a practice: If you are not buying property but have started your practice, you will need to have a trust and will in place. Many people rely on your practice; for them, you need to ensure that you provide the right protection.
- After your marriage, remarriage, or divorce: Starting your estate planning now is crucial. If your marital status changes, you will need to update your estate plan as well.
- At the birth of your children or grandchildren: Your estate plan will have to be revised whenever a child is born in the family. It will help ensure that your child or the grandchild is a part of the will or trust.
- Whenever you receive an inheritance: The experienced probate attorneys at a well-known Florida probate law firm state, “If you have received a big inheritance, which is monetary or another asset, you will be required to adjust the estate plan. Now is the right time to build trust in case you haven’t.”
Documents required by age
You can also break down the estate planning documents based on your age. It will depend on the stage of life you are in and will impact the documents you need to have. Here’s how it goes.
In your 20s
The moment you become an adult legally, you will be required to have estate planning documents in place and these include a healthcare derivative which will tell your family what action you want to be taken in case you are incapacitated and are unable to make medical decisions on your own, next is a power of attorney which will name somebody to make the non-medical decisions when you are unable to make them. You will also need a healthcare power of attorney which will name someone to make all the healthcare decisions for you. Lastly, you need a will to name someone who will inherit the assets.
In your 30s
Many people start their families in their 30s and this is a good time to start planning how your assets will be distributed. You need to have a will in place and a trust to transfer your assets’ ownership to protect them from probate courts. The trust can also make it easier for the beneficiaries to get what you have saved for them.
In your 40s
You must have a will, power of attorney, and trust in place by the time you are 40. If not, now is the right time to start. Once done, speak to your parents or partner and ensure they have the right documents in place so you can protect your loved ones.
In the 50s and 60s
You must have all the estate planning documents ready; if you don’t, you need to catch up quickly and ensure everything is where it should be.
In your 70s and beyond
When you reach the age of 70, you should have finished your estate plan. The recipients should also receive this in a straightforward manner. Your company partners should be aware of where you have stored the paperwork and practice schedules if you are currently at work.
There is no right or wrong time when it comes to planning your estate. No matter the stage of life you are in, the right time is now. It is never too soon to plan for the future of your business and loved ones and think about what will happen to them after you are gone. It may not be a pleasant situation, but the sooner you do, the better it is. If you do not know how to start with estate planning, you can seek help from a professional who can help you understand how it works. It is also recommended to go through the will at different life stages to align with your planning and expectations.