If you’re in your 20s or 30s you probably don’t think too much about your estate — it’s a long way off and you have a lot of other concerns, namely, raising a family, buying a home, and advancing your career. While we understand why estate planning is on the top of your to-do list, we recommend that you start thinking about it sooner rather than later because the better prepared you are now, the less stress you and your family will have to deal with later on.
At Safe Harbor Wills and Trust in Watertown, we’ve dedicated our practice to the intricacies of planning for your future as well as helping you avoid problems that can arise when elderly family members need legal assistance. Contact us today if you want to start your estate planning or you have an elder law emergency. Read on to learn about some of the benefits of planning for the future while you’re still young.
The Simple Truth: It’s Never Too Early
If you’ve just graduated from college or you’re trying to save up for a home, you probably don’t want to hear that you should be putting money away for your future children. But you should be putting money away as soon as you can. The more money you invest, the more money you’ll have to cover your final costs and leave to your heirs. Starting early means that you will have a solid foundation that is better able to weather any financial storms you might face in the future. also means that you will have less catch-up to do when you get older to make sure that all of your future expenses will be taken care of so your family won’t be faced with paying off mountains of debt after your death.
How to Start Estate Planning
There are many ways to start planning your estate, the most simple of which is to ensure that any accounts (bank, retirement, etc.) all have beneficiaries listed on them. You may have to update this information every year but if you can’t remember the last time you did so, you should check to make sure that the information is correct. Any time you experience a big life event (marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, changing jobs) make sure that you recheck your listed beneficiaries and add or remove people.
Have a Will
While writing a will might seem like an end-of-life event, as soon as you start to accumulate property and other assets you need a will. A will does several important things that you don’t want to leave up to chance. First, a will allows you to specify who you want to raise your minor children in the event of the death of yourself and your spouse. Second, a will lets you spell out what your funeral arrangements are. Third, with a will you get to divide up your assets and property and bequeath them to the people of your choosing.
Without a will, your assets and property will spend a lot of time going through probate in order to be properly administered. Passing away without a will can cause other problems for your family, including in-fighting and legal actions. Unfortunately, people don’t always react well to the death of a loved one, especially when there is money or other tangible assets involved.
Your will is a document that should change as your life does. As you acquire more assets, you’ll want to adjust your will to reflect these changes. This is especially true with new real estate property. One way to make sure that all of your assets are accounted for in your will is to compare your tax documents to your will every year. If there are new assets listed on your taxes, add them to your will.
If all of this information feels a little overwhelming, it’s okay. At Safe Harbor Wills and Trusts, we’re dedicated to helping make estate planning easy. When you choose to work with us, we will do everything we can to ensure that your estate is taken care of. Whether you need help establishing a trust, drawing up or revising a will, or anything else related to your estate, we’re here to help.