4 Life Stages and Your Estate Planning Needs for Each Stage
By: Solid Serenity Legal Solutions
Many of our needs change throughout our life. We may need more or less insurance, medical care, or assistance around our home as we age. Estate planning is no different.
As your life changes, your estate planning needs will change as well. Here are 4 life stages and your estate planning needs for each stage.
(1) Young Adult
This first stage of life generally marks our early days after leaving the nest. Young adulthood includes those graduating high school at 18, early in their career, and young couples.
When we are young adults, we generally do not have many assets of our own. But, it is still important to have an estate plan in place. Estate plans allow young adults to decide who can help them if they’re unable to make decisions for themselves, even temporarily. This is called incapacity planning.
Though incapacity planning is more important at this stage than a Will or Trust, if you have specific assets you want to go to certain people, these documents will be important too. They may be more simple now than they will be later on down the road, but without them, you are leaving the Court the power to say who gets your things and when.
(2) Starting a Family
When we marry and/or have children, we have more people than ourselves to worry about. So, estate planning becomes more complex.
During this stage, you have more assets and dependents to care for. You will want to consider what will happen to your children if you aren’t there for their whole childhood, what your spouse needs to continue to run the household, and review your incapacity planning documents to make sure nothing has changed.
(3) Planning for Retirement
As we age, we accumulate more wealth and assets. If you have children, they grow up and move out.
This is the stage where you focus on who you want to get your assets and if you should place any restrictions on those assets. You should know by now how your children have turned out and if they may need additional help managing any assets you leave behind for them. You will also know if you have a loved one who needs planning for their special needs.
This is the time to review and update all of your documents to reflect your current wishes, and possibly add provisions to protect vulnerable loved ones.
In our golden years, our focus shifts to the challenges aging brings to our lives and, on the bright side, the way we want to live out our retirement. At this point in your life, you will need to plan for the possibility of long-term care needs.
There are many tools and vehicles to help you make an estate plan that can grow with you for the rest of your life. Be sure to book an appointment today to make sure your estate plan is in order.
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