When Should You Start Estate Planning?

When Should You Start Estate Planning?No one looks forward to planning for death, but it is an inevitability that must be prepared for. While everyone wishes to live long lives, at one point you will be leaving your family and belongings behind. When you pass, what happens to your family or the valuables that you’ve collected over your lifetime? At some point, it is important to consult with an expert estate planner to ensure that belongings are sorted, and loved-ones are taken care of. But, at what age should you start estate planning?

What is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is the process of arranging the management of your estate. This can involve creating a will, deciding power of attorney, and providing for the future care of your children. Estate planning is important because it not only ensures you have control over your possessions, but it also eases the mind of loved-ones after you pass. Estate planning is not only for the rich. Everyone has belongings that they want to be protected. By estate planning, you have the power to decide the future of your assets.

When is the Best Time to Start Estate Planning?

You should start estate planning as soon as possible, but most importantly, once you are married, have children, or have valuable assets. According to AARP, only 22% of millennials (ages 18-36) have started estate planning. However, no matter your age, you most likely have something of worth you wish to pass down to a loved one. It is important to guarantee the proper assortment of your assets after death.

Steps to Estate Planning

There are several steps to properly plan your estate. Read our previous blog, “What is Estate Planning? Part 1: Asset Inventory” to view a comprehensive list of inventories in estate planning. Here is a small sample:

  • Take Inventory of Assets: Make a list of everything you own valued $100 or over. This can include savings accounts, investments, jewelry, electronics, motor vehicles, or real estate. By doing this first, you’re saving money if you meet with an attorney to start estate planning.
  • Make a Will: A will allows you to state who you wish to inherit your property. This ensures that you have power over who gets your assets. Choosing a guardian in case of parents’ death is also important.
  • Choose a Power of Attorney: If you are unable to handle legal and financial matters yourself due to a disability, a power of attorney is legally allowed to manage your financial affairs.
  • Organize Your Digital and Paper Files: Organize all important paper and online files and include clear instructions. Make note of all online passwords with instructions on how you want your online accounts handled. For example, you may not want your Facebook account active after your passing, so you must have your password available for loved-ones to carry out your wishes.
  • Make Changes: After any major changes in your life, including children or a new house, it’s important to make changes to your will.

If you haven’t started planning for the arrangement of your assets after your passing, now is the time. Get your matters in order to guarantee that your wishes are carried out. If you have any questions regarding estate planning, make sure to contact us at TJ Woods Insurance.