If you are wondering when you should start your estate planning…the answer is, “NOW!” When individuals ask me when a good time to star their estate plan is, I always advise that there is no such thing as starting your estate plan too early. And no, I do not just say that because it is what I do for a living.
Since starting my practice, I have been surprised by how frequently people think they need to have substantial savings and assets in order to have an estate plan. If someone owns property, assets, or have money saved – those are all things that person arguably worked hard for. Furthermore, it is important to know how your estate would be distributed under state statute – if it does not match how you want the distribution to be made, only a will or trust can ensure your wishes are followed.
I did a will for a client shortly after she purchased her first home, and that was her only asset. She knew that, under Minnesota statute, her estate (or equity in her home) would go to her parents, and she wished for that to benefit her niece instead. Of course, her estate plan will change and be re-drafted as certain things in her life change and grow – but she wanted to ensure that the estate she had worked hard building would go to someone she would want to support should something happen to her.
Some individuals put off doing their estate planning because there are certain “loose ends to tie” or things to get “figured out.” Some of the reasons clients of mine have had in delaying doing their estate plan include purchasing a life insurance policy, renaming beneficiaries on retirement accounts, having a second or third child and purchasing a cabin. Sometimes there are things that should be done prior to doing your estate plans, but oftentimes it is possible to draft a will to encompass your plans, or do certain things after the estate plan is done. An experienced attorney can counsel you on what items you should be concerned about getting done first, and what items can be done in conjunction with your estate planning or following it.
Schromen Law, LLC provides counsel to clients in when to do their estate plan, and assists in completing any unfinished items that can and should be done before the estate plan is completed.
The material contained herein is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to create or constitute an attorney-client relationship between Schromen Law, LLC and the reader. The information contained herein is not offered as legal advice and should not be construed as legal advice.