At What Age Should You Start to Think About Estate Planning?July 1, 2021
If you are like many people, the age when estate planning might start hitting your radar is in your late fifties or sixties. Truthfully estate planning decisions are not something you should put off. Much like saving money, the earlier you start thinking about a plan for the future, the better position you’ll be in if the unthinkable happens.
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Here are just a few guidelines our Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys from the Daley Zucker team would like to share:
One of the first things you need to think about early in life is a power of attorney.
Most young persons are understandably preoccupied with educational opportunities, career, family plans, and other growing pains that come with adulthood. At this stage, it is fair to say you may not be thinking about your golden years. The thing is – life is wildly unpredictable, and not having a backup plan for worst-case scenarios can have great impact.
Appointing a power of attorney is a good starting point. This ensures that someone can manage your financial resources and make decisions on your behalf if you are suddenly unable to. From medical to financial powers of attorney, it is always best to get experienced legal guidance on these matters.
Everyone 18 years old needs a Power of Attorney. Parents will no longer have access to financial and medical information unless a Power of Attorney is in place. This is an often-overlooked step, especially for students moving onto higher education or training programs.
Wills and trusts should be in place before hitting the age of 40.
Typically, as you begin to earn more – often in your thirties – it’s a good time to consider wills and trusts. If you own a home, other property or have already acquired significant financial resources, you’ll want to frame out what should happen with your assets if you’re gone.
It is especially important to plan for the guardian of your young children by naming your choice in your Will.
Ideally, most of your estate planning paperwork would be in place before you turn 50
As you hit your 40s, you may already be thinking about longer-term plans like retirement. If you’ve already put some planning in place, at this stage you may need to just do some editing. You will want to make revisions to estate planning documents for newly acquired property, changes in marital status, new children or benefactors, and other significant life changes.
If you have not started to think about estate planning, start now!
As our Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys would say, it is better late than never to start estate planning. There is a lot more to consider beyond beneficiaries and distribution of property. You’ll need to think about long-term care, decision makers in the event of an incapacity, who is responsible for any debt and taxes after your death, and much more.
So, What is the Best Age to Start Estate Planning?
The best age is NOW! Estate planning is a long-term process that you should continue to prepare for over the course of your lifetime. It is not something you simply opt for once you hit retirement age.
The team at Daley Zucker has some of the finest estate planning attorneys in Pennsylvania. We would be happy to guide you through the estate planning process and answer any questions you have. We have offices in Lemoyne, and Harrisburg, PA (Lower Paxton Township). Schedule your first consultation with us today through our website or contact us at (717) 971-8628.