Estate Planning: Is It Ever Too Early?
Like life insurance, estate planning can be a difficult topic. We tend to think of it within the context of loss, and so we put it off. Or, we tell ourselves it’s “too early.” Maybe you fall into both of those categories.
Let’s start here: You’re not too young to plan your estate.
Estate planning isn’t a task to be postponed until you’re near the end of your life. Even if you are young and spry, there’s a peace of mind that comes with knowing your assets are protected—no matter what happens.
Why You Should Start Early
You may already know exactly why you should start planning early but just haven’t gotten around to it yet. If you’re a skeptic or just haven’t put much thought into the matter yet, we have a few points for you to consider.
There are plenty of reasons to start estate planning early. Some of those reasons might be:
- Control your assets. This is the most obvious reason to get your affairs in order. If you have valuable assets—even if that means a prized antique or a vacation home—you want to be sure those pass along to the intended people. No matter if you’ve made verbal statements about where your assets should go and how they should be handled, the effort falls flat until it’s in writing.
- Reduce your family’s tax burden. You can save your family the stresses that come along with taxes associated with their inheritance. Professionals can help you arrange your assets in a way that can save your family a great deal of money, while also helping them maximize the money you’ve left behind.
- Alleviate family stress and disagreements. You’ve likely seen families argue over inheritance assets. At the very least, you’ve seen it in half a dozen movies and television shows. Everyone has their own idea of how money should be shared (or not shared at all). So, if an estate plan isn’t in place, the only thing left to do is argue, especially in the wake of grief and elevated emotions. Documenting exactly how your heirs should divide your assets, as clearly as possible, will help avoid that classic family drama.
You might be thinking, But, I’m only [insert an age you consider to be very young]. You probably aren’t directing this at my age group.
When we say it’s never too early, we mean it. If you’re an adult—even a very young adult—you have decisions that you may want to make for yourself, even in death. We hope you live an incredibly long life. However, we know that sometimes our lives don’t follow the plans we’ve made, and we want you to be prepared for anything.
It’s Also Never Too Late
As we talk about the importance of early estate planning, don’t be mistaken. If you haven’t planned your estate yet, that’s okay. This process is something you should begin as soon as you can, but many people wait until later in life to make these arrangements. There’s no shame in that. Just be sure to contact your financial advisor as soon as you can to get the ball rolling!
How Your Financial Advisor Can Help
Plenty of articles floating around the Internet will give you the “easy” steps to estate planning. While those are valuable, they provide a very high-level view of a process that is quite complex. Your financial advisor can take into account your long-term goals to create a personalized, comprehensive estate plan.
An advisor serves as your trusted partner. They can answer the tough questions and do what’s in the best interest of you and your family.
Don’t let estate planning intimidate you, no matter how old you are.
Contact Southwestern Investment Group today to get started.
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