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Why is it important to set up an estate plan early?

Jan 18, 2023 | Estate Planning

There will always be a reason for you to continue putting off estate planning. You want to buy a house with your fiance or have a few more children. Maybe you aren’t married and are not yet a parent, so you don’t think estate planning is really necessary for anyone’s protection.

Estate planning is as much about your peace of mind as it is about the protection of other people. Your estate planning process helps you leave behind a legacy when you die and ensures that you can continue supporting those that you love even if something happens to you.

Rather than waiting to feel like you have settled most of the matters in your life to start estate planning, it is almost always preferable to begin planning as early as possible.

You might actually be very vulnerable

If you aren’t married and don’t have much property yet, you may scoff at the idea that you need an estate plan. However, when you turn 18, your parents lose the authority to access your personal property and medical records.

If there were an emergency that left you unconscious in the hospital, your family members won’t necessarily be able to make decisions about the healthcare you receive or handle your financial responsibilities for you. You typically need to create an advance medical directive and powers of attorney if you want to protect yourself from the possibility of medical incapacitation and all the risks that come with it.

Intestate succession has little nuance

If you die without a will, your closest family members typically inherit everything that you own. Although that may seem like an excellent solution on the surface, in reality, it may leave much to be desired.

The intestate succession rules in Pennsylvania will grant most of your property to your spouse and children or possibly to your parents. Your close friends or a romantic partner that you have not married won’t be able to receive any property at all, even if they depend on you.

Life will always continue changing

The truth is that your financial circumstances and relationships are never actually settled. People grow, and sometimes they grow apart. People die, sometimes years before you expect them to.

The best approach to estate planning involves creating effective documents that address your needs at the time that you create them while also thinking about your future needs and the people who depend on you. You can then continue updating or expanding your estate plan as you add members to your family and assets to your personal portfolio.

Beginning the estate planning process as soon as possible helps you maximize the benefits that you derive from estate planning and better protect yourself and the people you love.

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