Estate planning is simply the strategy one takes to ensure the optimal distribution of an individual’s estate upon his or her death, with a focus on retaining maximum value for beneficiaries and easing the cost, time, and stress of completing that distribution. An estate is the sum total of a person’s belongings, holdings, real estate and money.
Estate planning is often wrongly believed to be only for the retired or elderly, but the truth is, once you begin to build a family, your estate needs professional management — because your young family depends upon it.
Protecting a Young Family with an Estate Plan
It’s may not be pleasant to consider, but if you die young, your family will live on a very long time. What you do now with estate planning will help guide them into the future. Even if your estate is modest, you will at least have spared them unnecessary financial loss and legal complications.
Those who die young, even before they’ve built an appreciable estate, still leave behind family that can be further burdened with debt, expense, and material loss if there is no estate plan in place. Estate plans for young families usually involve a will, trusts, assignment of beneficiaries, property titles, assignment of powers to dispose of certain property, and gifts.
Estate planning also includes making decisions regarding who should take care of your children should you and/or spouse be unable to do so, as well as who should make decisions regarding your health (e.g. end-of-life scenarios) and finances should you be unable to do so.
Creating an estate plan can also channel your thinking into the facets of wealth building, and is a powerful tool for creating a stable nest egg for your family for all the years that you are alive. Focusing on the future is helpful in orienting young families towards savings, investments, and even career choices. And when it turns out that you live to a ripe old age, your estate will be that much greater for the effort you put in over those years.
Estate planning does not have to be done all at once, but the parents of a young family should speak with an attorney regarding the following types of issues, as necessary:
- Conservatorships / Durable Power of Attorney
- Healthcare directives / Living wills
- Guardianships for children or disabled adults
- Asset management
The Benefits of a Young Family Estate Plan
It is never too late to begin planning your estate. The advantages go beyond the paperwork, and include:
- Preventing future costly, drawn out litigation that bleeds estate resources.
- Planning ahead brings an awareness of important estate issues that protect your family should you suddenly die or become incapacitated.
- Planning as you go makes the process easier.
- Estate plans are flexible and can be amended throughout life. There are many types of plans, each with their own benefits, and the right one for your family provides a great deal of confidence — and your loved ones will thank you for your work.
- A custom-created estate plan, begun early, is a powerful tool for minimizing a tax burden.
At Omar Gastelum and Associates PLC, we know the strategies that work to protect your wealth and ensure your assets are properly transferred to those you love, when the time comes.Attorneys at our firm can advise you on the best way to structure your estate and prepare and file the necessary paperwork. Contact us today or call us now at 562-372-6868.