Estate Planning Suggestions for Various Seasons of Life
If you are over the age of eighteen, estate planning is relevant to your life in some way. There are various types of estate planning that you’ll want to engage in during the different seasons of your adult life. Each season contains action steps that build on what you may have done earlier, but if you haven’t, don’t worry. You can begin at any time and do the suggested action steps from previous life stages along with the steps that are suggested for the present place where you are at.
When you turn eighteen, your concerns may primarily center around what you hope to do in your life as well as the people who are important to you. While many eighteen-year-olds don’t think a lot about serious injuries or illnesses, those are unfortunately real possibilities at any age. This is a good time for you to plan for how you would like to get cared for should such an emergency arise, as well as whom you would trust with making important decisions for you in case you couldn’t make them on your own. Two things to do now are an advanced directive and a financial power of attorney. Those are documents your attorney can create with you that specify who can make financial and health care choices for you if you cannot make them yourself, as well as how you would like to be cared for.
As you go along, you are likely to have among your goals working for and acquiring things that are meaningful to you, such as a car or a house. Once you have purchased those assets, you’ll want to put some protection in place for them as far as making your wishes clear about whom you would want to inherit them should you pass away. Most people don’t pass away during their young adult years, but, tragically there are those who do. Now is an excellent time to make a will that specifies your wishes for the disposition of your assets. If you have life insurance or investments, it is also time to complete beneficiary designations for them.
Life often includes marriage, children, or both. When either or both of those wonderful things happen, it’s time to revise the estate planning documents that you have created previously to make sure that they align with your current situation and wishes. It’s also time to name a guardian in your will so that your children’s care will get provided for if you and their other parent pass away while they are still minors. If you don’t yet have life insurance, it’s a good time to consider getting some. When you have life insurance, it’s a good idea to check with your attorney to see whether they suggest a revocable living trust or other estate planning tool to protect the proceeds of your policy in the event of your death.
As you get older, your physical needs are likely to change. Your estate planning needs change, too. As you age, you’ll want to look back at all of the estate planning that you’ve already done to ensure that it’s up to date. You’ll also want to work with your estate planning attorney to see whether there are any changes you could make to keep certain assets out of probate and minimize the estate tax that your beneficiaries will pay.
If you would like to make plans to meet with a Kansas estate planning attorney, please call the law office of J. Joseph Weber, P.A. today. Our location in Wichita is open weekdays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. We sometimes offer weekend or evening hours by appointment, and the opportunity to connect with us online through our website.