Estate planning is something that rarely crosses your mind when you are in your 20s. Your youth is for earning, spending, and creating memories. In fact, it takes most people well into their 50s to realize that they do not really have a plan for their estate! Talking about estate planning when you are in the best years of your youth may seem morbid or pessimistic to some. However, considering the ever-changing economic and social norms and times, and of course, the unpredictable nature of modern life itself, it is best to have a talk with your nearest estate planning lawyer in San Diego on how to get started in estate planning.
Estate planning does not need to be a scary or confusing. The word ‘estate’ seems to suggest that you possess real estate, a huge houses, expensive cars or other things worth a lot of money. This is why people generally assume that estate planning is something you do when you are in your 40s or 50s, after you have accumulated wealth. However, estate planning is all about protecting your assets, however large or small they may be, ensuring that you have a plan for passing on those assets to family or dependents in the best, least painful way possible, in the unfortunate event of your passing. In addition, successful Estate Planning will allow you to provide direction regarding your health care when you are not able to make the decisions for yourself. Estate planning, therefore, becomes more important when you are newly married or are just starting a family. You want to make sure that the benefits of your hard work can help your family in your absence.
Here are a few reasons why it’s not too early to start on your estate planning:
1. Estate Planning is not planning for death, it is planning for life: estate planning is not just restricted to the situation after your passing, but also to other situations where you may be incapacitated and unable to make major decisions related to money or property. It can also deal with the distribution of money or assets to children, or elderly dependents. Some people even make plans to give to charities or other organizations after their passing or in the event that they are incapacitated. Estate planning helps you to plan for your financial future, your families financial future, and to make sure that all such commitments are provided for in your absence.
2. Providing for Minor Children now, and for when they come of age: In the unfortunate event of your passing or incapacitation, the lack of estate planning will mean that no decision can be made about channeling funds towards the education, livelihood and future of your children. That can be a scary situation for your spouse to face after you’re gone. Estate planning is even more important if you are a single parent, or do not have a trusted ex or parent to take over your finances and provide for your children.
3. Keeping it in the family: the absence of estate planning can prove traumatic for your dependents or family members, after your death, because they would essentially lose control of your estate. In the event of your death or incapacitation, the court will freeze your assets until it authorizes a person to handle your estate. Also, the state has the power to decide where your assets should go, in keeping with the state law, and that might not be the people whom you may have intended. In order to prevent these difficulties, it is important to start estate planning now.
4. Handling your estate: This brings us to the question of the person appointed to take care of your estate in your absence. This person may be your spouse, some other family member, a trusted friend, or a professional trustee. Consider who you appoint and their ability to get things done in a time a grief. In such a traumatic situation, they will also be forced to inventory your belongings, manage your finances, pay bills or file taxes, and also distribute your property according to state law. This can be a harrowing task for your representative and something you may not want to put them through when they have just suffered a huge personal loss.
5. Estate Planning can potential helps avoid taxes and court fees: estate planning is also a way to help some people legally avoid expensive taxes, or probate, that can depreciate or deplete your estate in a major way. Through estate planning your estate planning attorney in San Diego can show you how you can reduce the taxes on your estate after your passing.
Life is, at best, uncertain, and even though mortality is something we avoid thinking about, for the sake of our future and the future of our loved ones, it becomes our duty to plan for a comfortable life, or at least one that is best provided for. Estate planning helps you do now, that which can become harder as your commitments and responsibilities accumulate later in life. Consulting an experienced and successful estate planning lawyer in San Diego will help you plan for the uncertainty of the future, so that you can go ahead and lead the happy and stress-free life you were meant to lead.
The author is a San Diego estate planning attorney, who’s firm has over 30 years of experience in the field. He believes that planning for the future should be started at a very young age, and is passionate about imparting this knowledge to millennials. Visit https://odgerslawgroup.com/ for more details.