When Should I Start My Estate Planning?

Estate Planning Attorneys Serving all of Washington

You probably wouldn’t be surprised that an estate planning attorney recommends that it is never too early to start planning your estate. However, for most adults with loved ones and/or any significant assets, an estate plan can make certain that your wishes are heard and that your family, friends, and causes are taken care of properly in the event of your death.

If you don’t plan your estate, the court will distribute your assets. If you don’t like the sound of that, it’s a good idea to start estate planning now.

Estate Planning Begins With Circumstance, Not Age

There is no right age for adults to begin estate planning, and you do not need to have significant assets to make it worthwhile. If you have children, or even if you have just a few worldly goods (such as a car or piece of jewelry) and few loved ones, it is well worth your time to start your estate planning now.

Here are some markers that may signify it’s time to look into estate planning:

  • You buy a home. Once you have a residence, you are probably financially established enough to look into what happens to your assets after you are gone.
  • You start a family. When you have a partner and/or dependents, a will and trust will help you care for them in the event of your death. It will also ensure that your children will go to the guardians of your choosing.
  • You are ready to retire. When you are ready to retire, it is certainly time to think about planning what will happen after you are gone. At this point, most people have significant funds that they need to protect and allocate.
  • You become ill. If you are having trouble with your health, it is vital to plan for the unknown future by creating a will, trusts, and your medical and financial powers of attorney. Even if your health improves, you can rest easy knowing that you won’t leave your loved ones without guidance when it comes to your estate.
  • You have a cause. Even if you don’t have family to leave your inheritance to, you may have an important cause in your life that you’d like to support with your hard-earned assets. Estate planning can make certain that your money does the most help it can for the cause or causes of your choice.

Medical Power of Attorney & Funeral Planning

Even if you don’t necessarily need a complicated will or trusts or tax protections, there are still a few very vital steps you should take when it comes to estate planning.

First and foremost, you should have a Medical Power of Attorney (also known as a Health Care Power of Attorney) document. This legal instrument makes it clear who should make your medical decisions in the case that you become incapacitated or for some reason cannot make the decisions yourself.

Secondly, if you have strong opinions on your funeral arrangements, you should plan this aspect of your estate. Your funeral planning could include anything from the religious ceremony you’d like to where/how you would like to be buried, to the music that is played.

Update Your Estate Plans Regularly

It’s important to remember that estate planning is never really over. Big life changes can mean big changes in all of your documents. When you go through any significant life change, such as a divorce, marriage, death, or inheritance, be sure to ask yourself if you need to update your estate plans.

Don’t Wait Until Tomorrow. Start Estate Planning Today

Estate planning can be easy to put off, but in reality, it contains many of the most important decisions that you will make in your life. Once you pick up the phone and meet with an attorney, estate planning is very easy and comes with wonderful peace of mind. Call Blado Kiger Bolan, PS, today at (253) 470-2356 or fill out our short online contact form to speak with an estate planner who can help you.

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