The topic of estate planning often doesn’t come up until later in life. Many wait until retirement to start the process, but the best way to protect yourself and your family is to plan an estate now. By starting early, you can ensure there’s a formal plan in place should anything happen to you.
Why should you start planning your estate when you’re young?
You might think that estate planning in your 20s or 30s is too early, but in reality, it’s never too early to start planning for you and your family’s future. Life can be unpredictable, so having a beneficiary for your financial accounts is always a good backup plan. You want to ensure that your accounts, including retirement and any investments, are distributed according to your wishes.
A good estate plan includes more than just financial planning; while the financial aspect is important, so is health planning. There are simply too many factors that could impact your health, even at a young age. Naming a health care proxy will allow someone you trust to make medical decisions if you become incapacitated.
Planning your estate when you’re young doesn’t have to be complicated, but a basic plan gives you and your family security for the future. Other things you might consider in early estate planning include a will, life insurance, or a living trust. With all of the basics of estate planning in place, your family or loved ones will be able to avoid complicated legal and personal processes like probate in the event of your death.
How often should you update your estate plan?
A common mistake in estate planning is failing to update your will and other parts of your plan. However, there are several events that call for an updated estate plan.
- Are you new to Arkansas? Laws can vary greatly from state to state. If you drafted your will or estate plan in your previous state, you’ll want an Arkansas estate planning attorney to review your plan and update accordingly.
- Marriage, divorce, estrangement, a new baby – changes in your family or those closest to you should be reflected in your estate plan. Keeping beneficiaries and executors up to date will ensure your assets are distributed appropriately. Some accounts, like 401ks or IRAs, will require you to update a beneficiary separate from your will or trust.
- Your assets can change drastically in just a few years. Maybe you changed careers or got a raise, leaving you with more money to purchase new assets like a car or house. Other circumstances might lead to decreased assets. Both should be reflected in your estate plan.
Of course, there are other specific reasons that might call for a new plan. Generally, you should update your estate every three to five years. An estate planning attorney will be able to help you form a strategy to plan your estate how you prefer.
Plan Your Estate with L. Jennings Law
The best way to protect your life’s work and assets is to start planning your estate now. Everyone can benefit from an estate plan, and L. Jennings Law can help. If you aren’t sure how to plan your estate, our law team can explain the complexities of the process to make it simpler for you and ensure your assets are protected. We’ll walk you through the entire process to protect your legacy or review and update your current plan. Contact L. Jennings Law to learn more about what we can do to help you plan your estate.