At What Age Should You Start Estate Planning?

If you’re like most people, you probably think that estate planning isn’t an urgent matter. Countless people continuously procrastinate on this task, and, for some, the unthinkable happens before they can complete it. But, exactly, what is the best age to start estate planning? Well, it depends more on what assets you have and whether you have children than on age. So, here’s what you need to know.

At What Age Should You Start Estate Planning?

Before 30: Power of Attorney

When you’re in your twenties, the main person you are concerned about is probably yourself. If you don’t have children yet, then your estate planning should be about your best interests and not necessarily your family’s.

You are really preparing for worst-case scenarios such as a serious accident or diagnosis rather than the future. This should include appointing a healthcare power of attorney to make medical decisions for you if necessary. In the same way, you’ll also want to appoint a financial power of attorney who can manage your finances if you are suddenly unable to.

Before 40: Wills and Trusts

As soon as you own property and have started accumulating greater financial assets, you’ll need to take estate planning much more seriously. For many people, this will happen in their thirties. But if you’re someone who bought a house earlier or has accumulated wealth before then, you may want to start in your twenties. Estate planning documents should outline your plan for these assets once you’re gone.

Your last will and testament and a trust are the most important estate planning documents to have at this point. Your will outlines who will inherit your assets if you pass away. On the other hand, a trust outlines how and when your wealth should be distributed to beneficiaries.

At What Age Should You Start Estate Planning?

Before 50 and Beyond: Updating Estate Planning Documents

Hopefully, by the time you’re in your forties, you will have a large amount of your estate planning done. But, you should still be continuously reviewing these documents and updating them as needed. Some of the reasons you may want to update your estate planning documents include:

  • New marriage or divorce
  • New real estate purchase
  • Recent death in the family
  • Birth or adoption of a new child or grandchild
  • Job change
  • Newly acquired wealth

While making your own estate planning decisions, don’t neglect helping your parents prepare for their futures. At this point, your parents are likely at the age where they should have their estate planning documents in place for distributing their assets and making important medical decisions when needed.

If right now you’re in your fifties, sixties, seventies, or even older and you haven’t started estate planning, remember that it’s better to start late than never. If you’re at this age and your paperwork is already completed, you’ll want to make sure the instructions in your estate planning documents are as clear as possible. It is also important that your personal representative or trustee knows where to find these documents when they are needed.

Start Estate Planning Today with Dana and Associates

The bottom line is that estate planning is not something you should put off. It’s always better to be at a young age to start estate planning and preparing for the future (and the unthinkable) rather than putting it off. No matter what age you are, Dana and Associates can help you with all your estate planning needs. We can guide you through making the decisions that are best for you and your family!