Estate planning is the process of arranging how your assets and affairs will be handled after your death or incapacity. It can include making a will, setting up trusts, naming beneficiaries, appointing guardians and more.
Contrary to popular belief, estate planning is not only for older people. Ideally, everyone above the majority age should have an estate plan. But when should you start making your estate plans? Is there a perfect age for this critical task? Here is what you need to know.
Factors to consider
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to when to start making your estate plans. Some of the things you should look at include:
- Your family situation: If you have a spouse, children or other dependents, you should start planning your estate as soon as possible. You want to ensure they are taken care of and have access to your assets if something happens to you.
- Your financial situation: If you have significant assets, such as a home, a business or investments, you should start planning your estate early. You want to avoid potential disputes among your heirs and also plan for the succession of your business or the management of your assets if you become incapacitated.
- Your health situation: You also want to prepare for the possibility of losing your mental or physical capacity and ensure that your medical and financial decisions are made by someone you trust.
It’s best to lay the proper plans now, given the unpredictability of life. Think of all the chaos and confusion you may leave if you die without a proper estate plan. You may not be present to experience the aftermath, but your loved ones will pay the price. It can lead to unending family conflicts.
Creating an estate plan early can provide peace of mind, and help ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes and that your loved ones are cared for in the event of your passing.