When Is the Best Time to Begin Estate Planning?

It is difficult to say at what age one should begin estate planning because it depends on every individual’s unique situation. However, the best time to start estate planning is before you have a problem, not after one arises. Hence, it’s best to create one before the details of your life go into disarray.

Here are some considerations to review when determining if it’s time to contact an estate planning attorney in Santa Rosa.

When You Become a Legal Adult

The age when you become an adult is a good time to begin estate planning because it’s the first time that you have full control over your assets. Therefore, it provides an opportunity to take stock of what those assets are and how they should be distributed after your death. An estate planning attorney can help review several factors when creating a will, guide you through the process, and make sure everything is done correctly.

When You Start To Accumulate Valuable Assets

Many don’t realize that the moment they start accumulating valuable assets, they create potential creditors who might be interested in reclaiming those assets away at some point down the road. The earlier you begin working with an experienced attorney on estate planning matters, the better off you’ll be later on when it comes time to pass those assets along. For example, if you buy a house, it means that you now have equity in real property and debt too! This means that if someone sues you for something unrelated, they could get access to those assets through the courts if necessary.

When You Get Married or Divorced

Marriage brings with it many benefits, but also new legal obligations such as joint ownership of property and debts. A prenuptial agreement can help both parties understand what they are getting into before they walk down the aisle. It can also protect one spouse from losing all or part of their inheritance if the marriage doesn’t work out.

When You Get Sick

If you become seriously ill or injured and need long-term care or hospice services, it’s important to have an estate plan in place that includes powers of attorney and living wills. These documents allow others to make financial decisions on your behalf and help ensure that you’re cared for in accordance with your wishes. Without them, only those people named as beneficiaries will be able to access your bank accounts if they need money to pay for medical bills. Therefore, a durable power of attorney allows someone else (your agent) to step in and handle these tasks for you if necessary.

The topic of estate planning is complicated and can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. Johnston & Associates Law is a team of attorneys in Santa Rosa who can answer your questions and provide the legal assistance you need regarding your estate planning or any other legal matter. Call our office at (707) 545-6542 to know more.