When It Comes to Estate Planning, Do Not Procrastinate

Why is it important for me to start creating an estate plan well before retirement?

There are numerous reasons why people put off estate planning.  Many of us simply do not want to deal with our own mortality, so we keep delaying a discussion of the topic.  Others do not want to incur the cost of attorney’s fees for drafting an estate plan, even though avoiding this immediate cost will cost them far more in the long run.  Despite these understandable, if misplaced, reasons for procrastination, the fact is that when it comes to making your estate plan, procrastination can prove devastating.  

You Risk Dying or Becoming Incapacitated Without an Estate Plan

By procrastinating making your estate plan, you risk potentially becoming incapacitated or dying without having a valid estate plan in place.  To execute an estate plan, you must be mentally fit.  For older Americans, putting off estate planning could leave you unable to sign a will, trust, or guardianship documents.  This may create stress for your family and potentially result in your inability to enforce your final wishes.

If you pass away in California never having gotten around to making an estate plan, your estate will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy.  State law could result in heirs receiving money or assets that you would not have wanted.  Further, your assets could be tied up in court proceedings for some time to come.

By Starting Early, You Will Have More Financial Planning Options

In addition to avoiding the risk of becoming incapacitated or dying without a will, you have some financial incentives to start creating your estate plan early.  Estate planning is a multifaceted field that involves far more than simply making a will.  With your estate plan, you can engage in long term financial planning.  Your attorney can help you to open trusts and accounts that will finance your retirement and healthcare costs in the future.  Your early planning could allow you to retire earlier or in a better position than you may otherwise have been in.  

Do not put off making your estate plan any longer.  Get started today by contacting a California estate planning attorney for assistance.