Estate planning can be a daunting prospect, but it’s an important step for every California adult. Thinking about the future means something different in every stage of life, but this is a process that is beneficial regardless of age and income. If you do not have a plan in place, you may want to consider what approach you should take regarding your future interests.
Life is unpredictable, but estate planning offers you the opportunity to have a measure of control over important issues, such as what will happen to your property and who will care for your minor children. Your estate planning needs change depending on where you are in life and your financial circumstances. This is why it is critical to carefully review your plans regularly and update them as needed.
Young and unmarried
You still need an estate plan, even if you are unmarried and under the age of 30. You will benefit from a basic will that allows you to decide what will happen to your stuff in case you pass. You can also draft documents that provide you the opportunity to make certain health care decisions for yourself in case of incapacitation.
Midlife with kids
Once you have kids, your estate plan should change as well. You can name a person to act as a guardian for your minor children in a will, and you can decide how to care for your children financially in case you and your spouse pass away. At this point, you will also benefit from getting a life insurance policy and updating any medical documents you drafted in the past.
Middle age and beyond
As you start looking to your future with older kids and your retirement years, you will need to adjust your plans. You may want to set aside and preserve assets for specific purposes, something you can do through a trust. You can also use certain estate planning tools to avoid some estate taxes and make things easier for a loved one after your death. This is also the time to plan for an extended illness and the possibility of long-term care you may need in the future.
Don’t plan alone
You do not have to walk through the estate planning process alone. No matter where you are in life, you will benefit from an experienced attorney’s support and guidance to help you make plans that will provide protection now and well into the future.