For a young family, when is the right time to put together an estate plan? Right before you die is the correct, but not realistic, answer.
Estate planning is especially important for families with young children, and to be updated to pass on assets in later years, according to the Lodi News Sentinel in “Planning for what comes last.”
Think of an estate plan as a gift for the next generation, as is making funeral plans in advance. I used to avoid doctor visits, until a friend pointed out, the visit is not just for me, but the whole family. Doing what you should is for them.
You can’t assume that your adult children will know what you want for your funeral and you don’t want them to have to make decisions during a time of great sadness.
These are gifts, that parents who love their children can give: taking care of the business side of their lives and their deaths, so that a difficult time is manageable.
Once you have worked with an estate planning attorney to prepare all the necessary documents and made funeral plans, the next step is to share that information with your heirs.
It’s not an easy conversation to have. Most of us tend to keep that side of our lives private from our kids, no matter how old we become. However, sharing this information can keep families from fighting in the future.
It is not easy to know how much different members of the family can handle and who can be trusted with what information while you are living. There are times when people who appear completely selfless suddenly become greedy when an inheritance is being probated. It’s hard to anticipate this. However, there are several things that you can do now to make it easier for those you love.
- Have a will and if appropriate, a trust, created with an estate planning attorney. Don’t neglect a power of attorney for health and for finances.
- Make funeral plans and tell your family about those plans.
- Make an end-of-life plan. Don’t leave it to others to make these difficult decisions, if you know what you want to have done.
- Plan for your pets, in case they outlive you.
- Protect your digital assets by obtaining the correct information for all your social platforms, so your loved ones are empowered to access and close accounts after your death.
An estate planning attorney can advise you in creating an estate plan that fits your unique circumstances.
Reference: Lodi News-Sentinel (July 1, 2018) “Planning for what comes last”