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Growing with Your Estate Plan: How Things Change As You Age

One of the most difficult parts about successful estate planning is that countless myths persist about how to plan for your future. One of these misconceptions is that young people do not need estate plans. Another common misconception is that once you create an estate plan, there is no need to revise. In reality, the best approach is to create an estate plan early on in life and then to revise or add to that estate plan as time passes. This is because, like or not, emergencies do happen and everyone can benefit from the existence of an estate plan. As a result, this article reviews what a good estate plan should include for some various ages as well as the risks presented to estate plans during each phase of a person’s life. 

 

# 1 – College Age

 

While you still need one, during this phase of life your estate plan can remain relatively simple and include only critical documents like durable powers of attorney and a will. Each year, countless young people end up in tragic accidents that force their parents or loved ones to make caregiving decisions. Having a power of attorney in place helps to avoid uncertainties about how healthcare or financial decisions for you will be made. Regardless of value, if you have any assets, you should also address how these belongings will be transferred in a will. 

 

# 2 – Entering a Committed Relationship

 

If you marry or enter into a committed relationship with someone, your estate plan will need to address more issues. Understandably, you want to do whatever you can to help your partner in case something happens to you. As a result, in addition to these previously mentioned documents, you should consider things like advance directives and life insurance designations during this time. Advance directives dictate the type of medical care you would like to receive if you end up making unable to make decisions for yourself. 

 

# 3 – Creating a Family

 

If you’ve delayed creating an estate plan until now, the idea that you will have a family should provide the motivation that you need to make decisions about your future. Besides the previously mentioned estate planning tools, during this time you should also create guardianship documents as well as revise any necessary beneficiary designations. Now, not only do you need to consider the help that your partner will receive in case anything happens to you, but you must also consider the type of care that any children will receive. While it can be challenging to appoint a guardian to make decisions for your children, this is a necessary step to take in case something happens to both you and your partner. Guardians face various challenges including potentially relocating, providing guidance to children, and ensuring that the child receives adequate medical care. 

 

Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer

Creating a successful estate plan is full of challenges, regardless of how old you are. To make sure that you have the strongest estate plan possible, it can help to speak with an experienced attorney. Contact Ettinger Estate Planning today.

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