When Should You Start Estate Planning?
Everyone has an estate, whether they know it or not. Your estate is made up of everything you own, including your home, car, bank accounts, retirement accounts, investments, life insurance, personal possessions, and furniture. Regardless of how small or how large your estate is, it is important that you make a plan for it. Many people do not think they need an estate plan until they earn more money or are older, but that is not true. Below, one of our Yakima estate planning lawyers outlines the most important considerations at every age.
Estate Planning During Your 20s
After you turn 18 years old, your parents lose the authority to make financial and healthcare decisions on your behalf. You may not have yet accumulated many assets, but you still need to make sure you leave instructions in place about who can handle your affairs if you are unable to. Three of the most important documents to include in your estate plan after you turn 18 are as follows:
- Health Care Power of Attorney
- HIPAA Waiver
- Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Matters
Estate Planning During Your 30s
When you are in your 30s, you may have already accumulated significant assets, such as a home. You may also have started a family. To protect the things that are most important to you, it is essential that you have a comprehensive estate plan that protects your family as well as your assets. The most important things to consider when estate planning in your 30s are as follows:
- Plan for your assets by drafting a will or trust
- Choose guardians for any minor children
- Establish trusts for young inheritors
- Choose a power of attorney if you have not already, in the event that you become incapacitated
Estate Planning During Your 40s
If you have not already created an estate plan when you are in your 40s, now is the time to do it. If you do have an estate plan, it is time to review it to confirm that it still reflects your last wishes. Another important aspect of estate planning in your 40s is speaking to your parents about their health and last wishes. Make sure they have important documents such as an Advance Health Care Directive and Health Care Power of Attorney in place.
Estate Planning During Your 50s and Beyond
Again, if you have not yet created an estate plan by the time you are in your 50s, it is important that you create one now. If you have, you should review it every time there is a significant life change, such as a birth, death, marriage, or divorce. Even without big life changes, you should review your estate plan every three to five years. At this stage it is important to consider changing your estate planning method to include a revocable living trust so your loved ones are not burdened by the expense and hassles of probate.
Our Estate Planning Lawyers in Yakima Can Help You Plan for the Future
Whether you need to draft an estate plan, add to one, or make other changes, our experienced attorneys can help. At Moulton Law Offices, P.S., our Yakima estate planning lawyers can help you create a plan that reflects your needs and is customized to your situation. Call us now at 509-328-2150 or chat with us online to request a consultation and to get the legal help you need.