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Why estate planning changes throughout life

When people think of a will or an estate plan, they may assume it’s something they don’t have to worry about until they are much older. The fact of the matter is that every adult here in California should consider having a comprehensive estate plan, but that doesn’t mean it will look the same for everyone. Experts say that an individual’s needs for estate planning will change throughout life and depend on personal circumstances.

For people just starting out, who may not be married or who are newly married, they likely do not have a great deal of assets or any dependents. They will probably need minimal documentation that names their beneficiary, likely their spouse or a parent. For those who have dependents, they need not only documentation pertaining to lifetime planning, but provisions for care. Establishing a trust may be the best way to accomplish this.

The next category is for people who may be older with assets and no dependents, whether they ever had children or not. Their estate plan will outline how to distribute their assets and may include a trust, but could just be a will. At some point, the estate plan will likely include long-term care planning, whether due to the estate owner’s age or to his or her health. These plans may be more complex than earlier ones, often including insurance or charitable remainder trusts.

Whatever stage of life a person may be in, it is important that an estate plan meets the specific needs of that individual. One of the best ways to ensure that may be to work with an estate planning attorney here in California. This way, an estate owner can take comfort in knowing that his or her assets will be handled as desired and loved ones will receive any needed care.

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