Written by Michelle N. Ogborne

When to Start Your Estate Planning

Estate planning is more than simply having a will written up by an attorney or filling one out online. It is a continuous planning process that helps to deal the financial impact your death could have on your family and loved ones.

Taking the time to plan now can save your family from paying estate taxes and fighting in long, drawn-out court battles. Estate planning ensures that your assets are distributed and dispersed in the way you choose. In short, the best time to start estate planning is right now, no matter if you’re single, married, a parent, or a business owner.

What Happens When You’re Not Prepared?

As we all know, death is a certainty. No one gets out of here alive.

But even knowing that, nearly 55% of Americans are unprepared for that eventuality.

If you are among that number and die without a will, then what happens is called dying intestate.

When you die intestate, succession laws come into play, and your assets and family will all have to work through probate court to determine proper ownership of your assets.

In this case, the state decides who gets your money and property, and if they determine no heir fits their criteria, your assets may even become property of the state. You can easily avoid all of these pitfalls with proper estate planning.

What Is a Will?

A will allows you to control the distributions of your property, possessions, real estate, and valuables to your family.

An estate plan also names a guardian to care for your children in case both parents die.

It is very important for a young family to come together and plan their estate with an eye for the future.

When you are ready to start your estate plan, you’ll need to start a discussion on what you want beforehand. There are a few things that your estate-planning attorney will suggest you do in preparation, including:

  • Make a list of all of your assets and liabilities.
  • Review your beneficiaries for any insurance policies.
  • Inventory your valuables and heirlooms to determine where you would like them to go at your passing.
  • Discuss your funeral arrangements and how they will be paid for.
  • Talk to your partner and family about who will become the guardians of your children.

When to Start Your Estate Planning

Many times, people don’t consider creating their estate plan until they are of a certain age or have children.

In truth there’s no reason to wait.

You’re never too young to start planning your estate, even if you feel as if “estate” is too strong a word for the few assets you have.

Even a single person will want to have a life-insurance policy to cover outstanding debts and funeral expenses. The estate-planning process is more complicated with additional assets and dependents the older you get. By starting young, you only have to build on the foundation you’ve laid.

Estate planning shouldn’t be thought of as something you are doing for yourself.

You’re doing it for the benefit of those you care about, the people who will have to deal with these things after. Your thoughtful gesture and planning will alleviate the problems associated with probate court, which could take years and cost thousands of dollars.

Trust Ogborne Law with your estate-planning needs. We know how important your loved ones are, and that planning for your death is an emotional task. We’ll help you get through this step so you can ensure your family’s future success. Protecting your legacy long after you’ve gone.