Many people have the misconception that estate planning is reserved for the very old or the very rich. However, estate planning can help the majority of people protect the ones they love, protect themselves, and protect the assets that they have. While estate planners will tell you that it is never too early to begin planning your estate, there are a few times in life when you should absolutely begin to consider what would happen if you were to die or become incapacitated.
- You are getting married. Getting married means joining your life with another person’s and taking mutual responsibility for each other. Once you are married, it is important to have a clear plan for what would happen if one or both of you should unexpectedly die or be injured. Marriage also usually increases your assets, making it more important to have a plan for those assets.
- You are having a child. Even more than marriage, having a child ties you to another person forever. Until your child can care for himself, you and the other parent are solely responsible for his wellbeing and care. Planning your estate is absolutely the best way to ensure that your children are cared for in the event that you cannot care for them yourself.
- You are entering a dangerous profession. People who engage in dangerous types of work or who engage in risk-taking in some other facet of their life should seriously consider planning their estate early. While no one wishes to think about the worst that could happen, it is critical that you understand the risks that you are undertaking and taking responsibility for the possible consequences.
- There is a threat to your health or wellbeing. Perhaps you are having a major surgery, or perhaps you have found out about a long-term health problem or disease. These shocking turns of events are often reminders that life is precious and we have to plan for everything. This is especially time to set up your medical power of attorney, just in case someone needs to make medical decisions for you.
- You have accumulated significant assets. Even if you are young, healthy, and single, estate planning may be a great idea if you have already accumulated significant wealth. If you don’t yet have a family, what would you like to have happen to your assets and property in the event of your death? What are your long-term plans and wishes?
- You have strong feelings about what happens to your assets. Are you strongly tied to a cause or a charity? Do you wish to pass your assets on to someone that may not otherwise get them if you don’t outline it in your will? These are two great reasons to plan your estate even if you don’t have a family and even if you aren’t approaching retirement.
Taking the first step
We can discuss your priorities, write up key documents, and more. But you need to take the first step: contacting me. Please call (650) 325-8276 or get started here at this website.