No more than breaking a mirror will trigger seven years of bad luck.
Seriously, I think you have unwittingly(?) exposed one of the biggest excuses people have for not signing their own last wills.
Procrastination is the death bed of good intentions.
As unpleasant as it can be to think about your own death, estate planning attorneys will confirm that facing up to this fact-of-life is the first essential step to protecting both your family and your assets.
When it comes to estate planning, many folks first experience with it is the death of a loved one.
For example, after dealing with a parent’s death and going through the struggle of processing that messy estate through probate (especially if there is no estate plan in place), those folks do not want to leave the same mess for their own children.
Coincidentally, this was the theme of a recent article from The Street titled “Estate Planning Needs to Be on Your Retirement To-Do List.”
According to the article, as part of the estate planning process you need to review your investments and confirm that the beneficiaries on any transfer on death (TOD) accounts, life insurance, IRAs and 401(k) are up-to-date. In addition, make sure you execute your last will, powers of attorney, and your advance health care directive.
Teaching point: For your estate plan to operate as intended, your beneficiary designations need to be consistent with the distributions provided through your last will or revocable living trust.
Our rule of thumb is to give your estate plan a top-to-bottom review every two years.
Truly, estate planning is the smartest way to take care of your family and loved ones.
Naturally, different types of estate planning are needed in different stages of life, as well as different stages of wealth building.
Unfortunately, many people do not give serious attention to their estate planning until their 50s and 60s. As for younger people, they are concentrating on making money, providing for a family and advancing their careers.
So, when should you begin your estate plan?
Would you believe upon reaching age 18?
It is true.
On that date you "legally" become an adult and even your parents can no longer make your personal, health care and financial decision absent legal documents authorizing them to do so.
Planning sooner is always better.
And the earlier, the better.
Work with an experienced estate planning attorney to make sure everything is ship-shape when you do.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: The Street (Sept. 24, 2016) “Estate Planning Needs to Be on Your Retirement To-Do List”