I generally say “let me know about two weeks before you need it” when people tell me they are thinking about getting their will or trust done. Yes, I smile and sometimes wink after saying that. The fact is we don’t know when our two week timer has started… and when it’s going to BUZZ! Thus, you should get your estate plan done NOW while you still can.
While certainly more people do estate planning as they get older there is nothing wrong with planning when you are younger. In fact, you often can set things up which can have an incredible impact later in life… or after death.
For example, people with young children should definitely get their estate plan set up because if, in the unlikely event, there is a joint death you can leave a mess with your kids and family. There can be fights over who should be guardian followed, the day your kids turn 18, by the enrichment of a salesmen at the local luxury car dealership. Get your affairs set up now while you can still make all the choices and avoid these problems!
Another great example of estate planning that can be incredible at a young age is life insurance planning with an irrevocable life insurance trust. The creation of a life insurance trust, at a younger age, can create an incredible financial legacy for your family for generations and/or the charity of your choice. This is because the lower cost of life insurance (due to low mortality rates) coupled with the time value of money make it so you can crate a huge pot of money… and if it set up correctly, with the irrevocable trust, can be 100% tax free, and creditor protected, to your spouse and children! The life insurance lobbiests have set something pretty amazing up so utilize it to your benefit!
Lastly, it’s simply more pleasant to do your estate plan when you don’t know how long you have left on this great earth. I have met with countless people who are cleaning up their affairs at the end of life and it’s not fun for either of us! Also, it can be tough to get some assets properly into the trust if you only days or weeks to do it.
In short, get your estate plan done now so there is no rush!
Having said all that, it’s rarely “too late” to get your estate plan done as long as you can call me from your hospital bed we can probably get it done! I have put documents together, and been to the hospital for a signing, within hours of talking to the client on the phone. However, I prefer to get it done before I feel like an “ambulance chaser” walking down the hospital corridor in my finest suit.
Call me and let’s talk about setting up your estate plan now!