Different Stages

Everyone’s life is marked by various stages, and proper estate planning may mean different things at different ages. In general, estate planning needs differ based on one’s place in their individual life journey.

When you are a college student with minimal assets, it is smart to at least have power of attorney designations in place. This will ensure that if you need someone to act on your behalf in a medical or financial capacity while you can’t, the appropriate parties have the necessary authority.

When you start a family, it is critical to make sure that, at minimum, you and your spouse each have a will, power of attorney documents, and designated beneficiaries for financial accounts and insurance policies. Perhaps most important to many young parents is naming guardians for your minor children, ensuring you have trusted people designated to care for them if needed.

As careers flourish, considering a trust to avoid probate and to address various assets both earned and acquired is smart planning. Trusts offer benefits related to flexibility, ease of administration, avoiding probate, and privacy. Further, as you age, power of attorney nominations for both financial and health care decisions become more important in the event you are incapacitated.

As you near retirement, it is important to regularly confirm that your beneficiary designations are up-to-date and your plan to distribute your estate still fits well. Minimizing estate taxes may be a concern at this point, as well as safeguarding your legacy for future generations.

Whatever your age may be, there are steps ranging from the simple to the complex that you can take to make sure your estate plan is working for you. No matter your life stage, we are here to help. Call the attorneys at Wright Beamer at 248.477.6300.

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