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Should you wait until you retire to make an estate plan? 

On Behalf of | Dec 18, 2023 | Estate Planning

People often think that it sounds logical to put off estate planning until they retire. For one thing, this means that they will theoretically be closer to the end of their life, so they understand the importance of estate planning. They have children and grandchildren, and they want to pass their assets to the next generation.

On top of that, retirement is the time when they will have acquired most of their financial assets. They may have investment accounts, retirement portfolios, life insurance policies, savings accounts and much more. Someone may think about estate planning in their 30s, for instance, but they know that they’ll have far more substantial assets in their 70s, so they wait to write a will.

Why this can be problematic

There are a few problems with procrastinating estate planning in this manner. First and foremost, life is unpredictable and unexpected deaths do happen. Even though someone may assume that they will live into their 70s – and they hopefully will – it is still safer to have an estate plan in place in advance, just in case. This can give more security to the family if there is a sudden illness, injuries in a car accident or something else unexpected.

Secondly, it’s important to remember that estate planning is about more than just finances. New parents can choose a guardian for their child. They can put money into a trust to hold those assets if their child is a minor. They can use advanced medical directives to define the type of medical care they would want in an emergency. All of this is helpful long before retirement. 

Getting the process started

As you can see, there are many benefits to doing estate planning earlier in life. It’s important to carefully consider all of the proper legal steps to take when drafting and filing that plan.