Estate planning doesn’t have to start around retirement age. People can start the process decades before that, even at the moment they turn 18 years old. It’s critical for individuals to take control of their property and assets; you never know when it’ll be too late to start the process. The earlier you start, the simpler it’ll be to get your estate in order later in life. Be aware of what to know and have a quick guide to estate planning by age.
What To Do in Your 20s
Once you enter your 20s, there are two important steps you need to take to protect yourself. The first is to establish a healthcare directive with a lawyer; this enables you to specify the actions you wish medical professionals to take in the event that an injury or illness incapacitates you. Even when you are not in a state to make decisions, you can still give guidance about your medical wishes.
Next, you need to name a power of attorney; this names a person who makes decisions on your behalf when you cannot. There are several types of power of attorney, but the two most common are financial and medical.
What To Do in Your 40s
After you reach your 40s, you need to start thinking about your will, the document that names the inheritors of your assets and property. This document also identifies the person in charge of disseminating assets after death and oversees the administration of the estate. Along with the will, you must draft a trust, which is similar to a will but specifically names someone you charge with handling financial accounts and asset management.
You also need to think about long-term care and living arrangements when you start to reach your twilight years. Look at your current financial situation and determine the most efficient use of your retirement plan; the decisions you make for retirement now can affect you years down the line. How much money you intend to live on and where to live are the two big questions you need to answer.
What To Do in Your 60s
Once you make your arrangements, you need to spend your 60s hammering out the details and making whatever revisions are necessary. Sometimes, the person you name as an inheritor or trustee may pass away, or your circumstances may change and interrupt your estate plan. The plans you make decades before are not set in stone forever; you need to make decisions as time goes on to keep everything up to date.
If you ever run into complications or discover that your documentation need updating, never hesitate to contact a trust and estate planning lawyer. Decades of planning can go to waste if you do not take the time to properly update information or make essential changes to inheritors and trustees. Always know how to establish an estate plan at any age.