There is no rule about being a specific age before an estate plan becomes a necessity. The fact is that an estate plan is important no matter how old you are. While someone in their nineties could be in perfect health, someone in their fifties may have a sudden illness that requires them to spend the rest of their life in a long term nursing facility.
Everything about life is uncertain and unless you have a crystal ball that allows you to see into the future and know that you will live to a ripe old age without the need for long-term care, an estate plan is a must. For young people an estate plan ensures that what they do have goes to the people they would want to have it if something happens to them. If they become incapacitated, they will need certain legal documents that appoint their parents or someone else to act on their behalf for legal and medical decisions.
For people with families an estate plan is a must. When you have young children you should have a will that will appoint someone as their guardian if something should happen to you and the other parent. In addition to this, you will want to ensure that your children’s inheritance is protected, but still available to them if it is needed. The best method of doing this is with a trust. All of this can be accomplished through an estate plan.
Of course when you are older and nearing retirement, the benefits of having an estate plan are obvious. You will want to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and that the estate taxes are as low as possible. You should also include planning for the possibility of long term care. Without a plan, if you or your spouse should require long term care at some point, it could cost you everything you have to pay for this care. In most cases Medicare does not cover long-term care and you will be forced to turn to Medicaid, which requires that you not have an excess amount of income and assets.
If you take the time to think about it you will see that an estate plan makes sense no matter how old or young you are.
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