Estate Planning may feel like a grim topic. But really, it’s a way of caring for your loved ones after you are gone. Many experts suggest that even people in their 20s can and should start effectively planning their estate. Younger adults often think of an “estate” as having to do with assets accumulated over decades of professional work and equity building. But legally, the term “estate” just means any assets you have. Technically, everyone has an estate. At the bare minimum, your estate includes what’s in your bank account, any stocks or real estate in your name, and physical possessions you own.
Estate planning has less to do with age and wealth and more to do with helping your loved ones in the event of a tragedy. At the very least, U.S. News suggests that every adult should have a will. Without a will, the courts will decide who receives your assets in the event of a tragedy, and it may not be aligned with your intentions or desires.
The reason most people wait until they are older to start planning their estates is that it becomes a more natural thing to do in later years. The older you get, the more you intuitively start thinking about how to best leave a legacy and care for your loved ones after you’re gone.
First Steps Towards Estate Planning
CNN Money helps break down the first steps towards estate planning, no matter your age.
Step 1: Take stock of all your assets. Your assets include your investments, retirement accounts, insurance policies, real estate, business interests and valuable items – in financial or emotional terms. You can consider everything from jewelry to cars, baseball card collections to your great-grandmother’s antique china that you inherited.
Step 2: Decide what you want to do with those assets and who you want to inherit them. This might be the time to get an attorney’s help in writing a will.
Step 3: Think about people you would trust to handle your business affairs and medical care in the event that you become incapacitated.
Step 4: Discuss your plans with your family, including your heirs. CNN Money explains that the sooner and clearer you outline your intentions to your family and friends, the less chance there will be for disagreements or complications after you’re gone.
So, when should you start your estate planning? The short answer is: now! Remember, it’s never too early to start. Whether you’ve already started on your estate planning or are new to the entire process, our experienced legal team is here to make it a simple, straightforward, and stress-free experience! Our elder law and estate planning attorneys have your best interests in mind, including the best possible outcomes for your loved ones.
So, do you have questions about estate planning or the probate process? Or maybe you need help navigating the legal hurdles of putting your estate in order? The Estate, Trust, and Elder Law Firm serves senior citizens and their loved ones in Fort Pierce, FL and the surrounding areas and we can help you too! Feel free to call 772-878-7271 or contact us online today!
The Estate, Trust, and Elder Law Firm, P.L.
1860 S.W. Fountainview Blvd. Suite 100
Port St. Lucie, FL 34986