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Should I start estate planning before my 40s?

In many cases, estate planning is considered something that the elderly or middle-aged concern themselves with, but younger individuals can benefit greatly from beginning their estate plan ahead of a normal time frame. The truth of the matter is that none of us are guaranteed any more days on Earth than we have already lived, so if you are a person in your 20s or 30s, you should consider how your estate might be handled if you suddenly passed away, and how you might protect the ones you love against this possibility.

Even for the young, death or incapacitation can arrive at any time. While this is often difficult to grasp in youth, it is crucial to plan for the possibility before it arrives. If something were to happen to you and you were suddenly unable to work for the rest of your life -- which could last for many more decades -- how would you provide for yourself or any other family members?

On the bright side, the one thing that younger individuals have more of than anything else is time, and in the estate planning business, time is exceptionally valuable. If you can understand the value of beginning your investing life early, even if you are choosing very modest investment options, the mere fact that you are allowing your investments additional years to mature can mean a difference of thousands and thousands of dollars. With proper estate planning, not only can you use your youth to provide more fully for yourself and your loved ones in your later years, you can ensure that a much larger portion of those assets is properly protected from excessive taxation.

If you think now may be the right time to consult with an estate planning attorney, don't put off this very important life step. The only plan that can actually help preserve your rights and your privileges is the one that you execute while you are still able to do so.

Source: WealthManagement.com, "Engage Millennials in Estate Planning," Jamil G. Daoud, June 23, 2017

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