Estate planning is talked about as if it's something for older adults to consider, but the reality is that anyone of any age can start planning their estate. Estate plans have several important purposes. Some include:
- Naming an executor of the estate
- Creating and updating beneficiaries to the estate and on plans like an IRA, 401(k) or life insurance policy
- Creating a durable power of attorney
- Establishing guardianship for minors and living dependents
- Limiting estate taxes
- Setting up trusts for beneficiaries
As you can see, there are many facets to estate planning that have to be taken care of. The first is to write a will, which is something you'll want to sit down and discuss with your attorney.
A will is important because it's a guideline for how you want your estate to be handled. Once a will is written, it stands for all you want even after you pass away. It is authenticated through probate, so you want to know that it is legally binding and will stand up in court.
Think carefully about who you want to be the custodian of the will. When you pass away, they have only 30 days to take the will to the executor you've named or the probate court. The court has to legally approve the executor, which then gives them the power to act on your behalf.
Your attorney will help you choose people who can be your executor, power of attorneys and other important figures so that you know your end-of-life wishes will be met. Start early, so you know what to expect if you pass away.