When Should You do Estate Planning?

when should you do estate planning

Should you do Estate Planning now, or wait until later?  When is the best time to start planning?  What happens if you wait?

Joe kept putting off his estate planning.  Then one day, Joe was in a horrific car accident.  Because he didn’t have an estate plan, nobody was able to just step in and take over managing Joe’s affairs.  They had to go to court, in an expensive process call Guardianship.  Even then, they could not manage all of Joe’s affairs.  There were still some things they had to go back to the Judge to ask permission to do.

If Joe hadn’t made it through the accident, then his family would have to go through Probate.

This story repeats each and every day. Only instead of a car accident, it is a slip and fall, sudden disease, heart attack, stroke, cancer, and more.

The moral of the story is, if you wait it could be too late.  Don’t wait until it’s too late.

You do not need a lot of assets before you plan.  You don’t need to be rich or famous.  Estate planning is about protecting you as well as protecting your loved ones by keeping them out of court and reducing frustration.

The best advice is to start estate planning the day you turn 18.  Get a Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare Power of Attorney, HIPAA waiver, and Living Will done.  This not only protects you, but protects your parents or partner. Later, as you start to gather assets, add in a simple Will.  Then, when you get married and have children, look at adding a revocable living trust to your plan.

If you haven’t done any planning at all, get started now.

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