July 04, 2023
Planning for the future is smart. After working hard and handling your responsibilities, you will likely want to relax and not worry about money. But this will not be possible if you do not take the steps now to make sure it becomes a reality. While we all know that saving and investing is the path toward financial security, what many of us do not know is when we should start doing those things. Financial advisers would certainly tell you the sooner, the better, but at what point does estate planning become necessary? Here’s more on estate planning and when you should start thinking about getting started.
Everyone has an estate. Your estate is everything that you own. Estate planning is the preparation and organization of your property and the creation of a plan concerning what will happen to it when you die or become incapacitated. Without a plan for your estate in place when you die, your property may not be distributed the way that you would have wanted it to. What this means is that your children may not be provided for, and your property could fall into the hands of the government.
When you have a plan for your estate, that typically will involve things like a will or a trust that will control where your property goes when you die. Those legal instruments must meet certain requirements for them to be valid. Hiring an estate planning attorney is the best way to make sure your estate is planned out according to your wishes and that the documents surrounding it will be followed when you pass.
It is never too early to start planning your estate, but typically it becomes necessary as you get older. An 18-year old generally does not have much property, so there isn’t much of an estate to plan. It is recommended, however, not to consider estate planning based on age but rather around important life events. Things like having a child, getting married, buying property, and divorce, are all significant life events that should cause you to consider starting or updating your plan for your estate.
Still, even without those life events, you should certainly begin estate planning before you become elderly. At an advanced age, your health can begin to decline quickly, and without a plan in place, you stand a chance of passing before you have settled your affairs.
It is recommended that you create a will as soon as possible. Even if you have not experienced any of the important life events listed above, and even if you have very few assets, a will still can provide your loved ones with instructions on what to do with your body and whether to have a funeral. Many family disputes have been caused by the lack of a will or a poorly worded one. Without an experienced family law attorney drafting your will, you leave the possibility of creating a bitter and contentious fight among your heirs over their inheritance. For these reasons, you should have your will drafted by a lawyer as soon as you become a legal adult.
While it is possible to draft a will without a lawyer, it is not recommended. Depending on where you live, there may be legal requirements surrounding how to create a valid will. Some states require that there be witnesses to its signing, and there may also be laws that control how a will must be worded. If you are interested in creating a trust, which can be another important part of a good estate plan, it is also recommended that you consult with a lawyer and potentially a financial advisor.
Inner Vision Legal has guided many clients with family law matters and estate planning matters. With over 17 years of experience, we know what it takes to get the job done right. We provide quality services at a reasonable cost. To learn more about estate planning in Oklahoma, touch base with us at Inner Vision Legal by calling (405) 724-2525 or contacting us online.