When is the right time to create an estate plan?

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2023 | Estate Planning & Administration |

If you seek feedback in re: the issue of when you should engage in estate planning, you’ll likely receive varied responses. Some people will tell you to wait until you have valuable property like real estate in your name. Others will suggest that you wait until you have dependent family members.

The tragic truth is that many people end up putting off estate planning for far too long, and they leave themselves and their closest loved ones in a precarious position as a result. Estate planning, which involves preparing for one’s death and future medical incapacity, can benefit virtually all adults.

As soon as you become an adult

When you first become an adult, you may still be in high school, and it will likely be years before you establish your own household and really begin developing your career. Few young adults think that they need an estate plan at this age. But, you are technically vulnerable once you turn 18.

Your parents no longer have automatic authority to handle your medical care in an emergency, so you won’t have immediate appropriate support unless you create powers of attorney and/or advance medical directives in the event of an incapacitating illness or injury. Even if you don’t have any major assets to your name that would necessitate testamentary documents yet, ensuring that you have protection in the event of an emergency is important.

Once you acquire property or expand your family to include a spouse or children, you will need to protect them – and your own interests – with a will, trust and other documents. You may also need to update your advance directive, as having a family may change your medical preferences.

Throughout your life, you will likely need to update your estate plan when your personal circumstances change. Anytime you alter your family or change your financial circumstances, you may require some changes to your estate plan as well. Putting estate planning documents in place at a young age and then occasionally updating them will give you the most protection possible regardless of what happens down the road.