Estate planning is something that continues for decades. After all, what you plan in your 20’s certainly won’t apply to your 40’s and especially your 60’s, will it? Your life goes through incredible changes each decade; therefore, you should look at estate planning as a gradual process, rather than a one-time ordeal.
In Your 20’s
You most likely aren’t married during this stage of estate planning and your assets are minimal. You’ll have a simple estate plan, perhaps a healthcare directive, but nothing extensive.
In Your 30’s
By now you are probably married, own a home and may even have children. That means you’ll need to select guardians, provide for your spouse and determine how any jointly owned property will be distributed upon your death. Beneficiaries may be changed and your healthcare proxy may be altered to name your spouse, rather than a parent.
In Your 40’s
Your assets are rather defined by now. Therefore, you need to take the extra steps to protect them. You may consider setting up a trust and plan for estate tax.
In Your 50’s
Your children are older now, so guardianship isn’t a concern. You may be interested in leaving inheritance for them or even contributing to a charity at this age. Perhaps you want to change your investments.
In Your 60’s
You’re ready for retirement. That means you need to have your estate plan in order, long-term care situated and your retirement plan working for you.
The good news is you don’t have to go through these stages alone. Instead, have an estate planning attorney who can help you plan through the ages and let your estate plan grow as you do.