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January 22, 2020

When Should I Think About Getting an Estate Plan?

Clients often wonder at what age (or in what financial situation) should they think about getting a Will or Trust.

Frequently, clients ask:

1. What is a standard time to get an estate plan (what age)?

2. Do estate plans only benefit the wealthy?

Most people, regardless of age or financial means, benefit significantly from estate planning.

The ages and financial situations of a “typical” client vary wildly. Furthermore, most people wait far too long to get an estate plan in place. However, as a rule, these are my recommendations:

Wills & Trusts: If you have (a) minor children or dependents of any kind (including dependants with special needs), (b) own equity in a home, or (c) have any wealth (even modest means)–you should discuss the benefits of estate planning with an attorney.

*(Not an exhaustive list. There are reasons outside these guidelines that warrant estate planning.)

Financial & Health Care Power of Attorney: Now. Most people fail to consider what happens should they become incapacitated. Having an individual, you trust empowered to make financial and health care decisions on your behalf is something every adult should have in place.

Beneficiary Deeds: If you own equity in real property and want to avoid the cost and hassle of probate court, consider discussing a beneficiary deed with an attorney.

This article represents the opinion of the author and is intended for educational purposes. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. One should always consult with an experienced attorney before making estate planning decisions.

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