No matter what your age or financial condition your Financial Plan may not be complete with thinking through what happens at the end of your life. You may think you don’t need an Estate Plan yet because you have not acquired any assets of consequence. But an Estate Plan or End-of-Life Plan is not just about asset transfer. Advice is available about a variety of products and mechanisms that can ease the reality of your death or long-term illness on your loved ones regardless of when it happens. You should start learning about these options while you are young as most of them are a lot less expensive to a 40-year-old then they are for a 60 or 70 year old.
Some of us would rather avoid the morbid thought of “at my death.” And yet we all know it is coming. Some say “well fine – I won’t be around for it” so in a way it doesn’t matter…. But, of course, your loved one’s will be there for it, and they will discover what kind of plan you made or did not make. It is surprisingly easy to avoid leaving a burden on your loved ones. This is especially true, if you have minor children and want to ensure someone of your choosing will care for them. If you don’t get your guardianship wishes in writing, the State will decide for you.
Why not find out what your loved one’s will face upon your passing? If you do nothing what will happen? What could be put in place to change that? These are all questions you can and should ask an Estate Planning attorney. The truth is that the usefulness of an estate plan is nearly universal. Even if you start with a Life Insurance Policy, or a Cancer and Critical Illness policy or even just a burial plan it will put you on the right track.
As your wealth grows, you can and should update and add to your plan. Regardless of how many assets there are in your estate, if there’s something left after you die, having an estate plan in place will make the future for your heirs much less dramatic and stressful. You can take care of your families’ short-term income or access to money needs, and you can make sure that the process they face is as simple and hassle free as possible.
So bottom line? Start while you are young; obtain advice from an Estate Planning Attorney and make “end of life planning” part of your overall financial plan. Like your health plan, get a “check-up” on your financial/estate plan from time to time as your life progresses.