At what age should I start thinking about estate planning?

Tips from a New Jersey estate planning attorney

If you think estate planning is something you don’t need to do until you retire, then think again. There are many common misconceptions about estate planning, such as only wealthy people need an estate planning attorney and it’s only something to think about once you’re nearing the end of your career. You may also think that if you don’t have many assets then you don’t need an estate plan, but that simply isn’t true. 

Estate planning consists of a variety of legal documents, including a Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney, HIPAA Authorization, and Revocable Living Trust, to name a few. In this article, we’ll discuss when you should start planning your estate, and how our NJ estate planning attorneys can help.

When you should start planning your estate

When you’re in your 20’s:

  • Power of Attorney for Healthcare. Once you turn 18, you are legally responsible for your own health decisions. Accidents and illnesses happen to people of all ages without warning, and if you become incapacitated and unable to make your own healthcare decisions, Power of Attorney for Healthcare designates someone to make those decisions on your behalf. 

When you’re in your 30’s: 

  • Will and Trust. Adults in their 30’s often have children, are married, and may own their first property. Your Will specifies who will inherit your assets, and your Trust is for transferring your assets to whomever you designate as your beneficiary. 
  • Guardianship. If you have kids, designate their legal guardian(s) in case something happens to you. 

When you’re in your 40’s:

  • If you haven’t already, now is the time to ensure your parents have their estate plans in order. It’s not always a pleasant conversation to have, but it’s necessary for the security of your family. 
  • Perhaps you’re now part of a blended family, or you have step-children you didn’t have in your 30’s. Be sure to update your Will to reflect your current family situation.

Here’s some advice from a New Jersey elder law attorney

As you can see, estate planning isn’t only for people nearing retirement age. Whether you’re in your 20’s and just starting out in your career, or you’re in your late 40’s and have accumulated some valuable assets, it’s always the right time to contact a NJ estate planning attorney and ensure your plan is in order. 

If you have any questions about estate planning, or would like more information about getting your estate in order, please contact our team at SCC Legal today. Discover why so many people in New Jersey choose us as their trusted estate planning attorneys.

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