I was having lunch with a few friends last week, and one of them brought her sweet daughter along for the ride. She is only 22 years old and recently married; no kids yet, but you can imagine that with her mom at the table, the question about grand-babies popped up at least two or three times. In between all of that, we talked about everyday stuff like work, and this young girl, in particular, really wanted to know more about what I do as an estate planning attorney.
Her mom and everyone else had gotten the rundown a few times over the years, so I was eager to share some knowledge with someone new. But then she says, “That sounds really interesting. I am sure I am too young for estate planning.”
Let me be clear that, no, she is not too young for estate planning. But for as long as I have been educating individuals and families about the importance of estate planning, there is this ever-present misconception that it is possible to be too young — as if there is some sort of mythical age threshold you have to meet first.
Estate planning is NOT for the elderly only. It is also not just for people with significant wealth.
Even at 22 years old, my friend’s daughter should be planning just in case she becomes incapacitated or passes away, regardless of how young she is or the value of her estate. Failing even to have at least a simple Will in place often results in a mess for loved ones.
What Does “Estate” Mean, Exactly?
In our world, “estate” refers to everything you own – home, cars, boats, furniture, bank accounts, jewelry, life insurance, etc. True estate planning goes beyond possessions and assets, though, and plans for a variety of important factors that right now may seem like they are too far in the future. This includes:
- Determining which loved ones are good at handling money and other responsibilities
- Detailed instructions for your care should you become disabled before you pass away
- Choosing appropriate guardians or additional care for minors and loved ones with special needs
- How many companies you own will be sold or transferred and proceeds dispersed
- How to minimize taxes and unnecessary fees
- Contingency plans for planned changes as well as unexpected changes
As I gently explained to my friend’s daughter that afternoon, having a carefully crafted plan in place before you die that goes beyond a “who gets what” set of instructions is a conversation you should have sooner rather than later. Having total control over how that process plays out is invaluable. Estate planning puts your affairs in order, so you have peace of mind knowing your loved ones can carry out your wishes once you are gone.
At Leigh Hilton PLLC in Denton, TX, we help individuals and families understand the importance of estate planning and create a unique plan to pass their wealth, wisdom, and values to loved ones in the most efficient way possible.
Call Leigh Hilton PLLC today!!
Have you never done estate planning before? Are you afraid that the plan you have in place is outdated or is not as comprehensive as it should be? Call Leigh Hilton PLLC in Denton. By working with us, you can be confident that your estate plan will be current, take advantage of the latest planning opportunities, and address your goals using an approach that makes sense to you and a strategy that you can be confident in.
Leigh Hilton PLLC wants to be your first call every time for any estate planning need. We look forward to serving you.