When to start Estate Planning
Most of us postpone creating an Estate Plan. Some postpone until it is too late and then those that follow us suffer. Among the common reasons why we put off doing what we know we should:
- I don't have enough of an estate to worry about,
- I am too young,
- Everything we own is joint property.
All of these reasons have some validity and should be taken into account. One of the main problems is that death has a way of happening when we least expect it. Another problem is that sometimes we think everything is taken care of when in fact it is not.
I recommend that especially when you are starting a family, getting married, or forming a new relationship, you speak with an estate planning attorney about your situation and get professional advice. You will then have the satisfaction of knowing you have done what you can to take care of your needs and those who depend upon you.
Over the years I have seen many people grapple with the question of whether to engage in estate planning or not. I have seen many postpone the matter until it is too late.
Death is inevitable and often comes unexpectedly
It is beyond the scope of this site to deal with the subject of the fear of death in any meaningful way. In fact, we have found that this is one of those deep seated, intractable issues that is not easily addressed through logical discourse. When asked, everyone knows that they will die - someday. It seems that the greater the certainty that someday may be near at hand propels many to take the plunge and plan their estate.
For the rest of us, there may be a myriad of psychological reasons for the hesitancy to plan for our death, but whatever the reasons, the cost of putting it off may be tremendous.
We have seen countless situations where the delay resulted in greatly increased cost and considerable inconvenience for the survivors. In some cases it meant that the clear wishes of the person were defeated by family members who ignored what they were told and did what they wanted.
Simply (and possibly harshly) put, estate planning is an act of maturity and responsibility. I congratulate you on having brought yourself this far in that process and urge you to use this opportunity to complete the planning of your estate.
The time to act is now
Being responsible for our lives and those of our loved ones is best dealt with today, not at a future time. At the very least, consult with an attorney of your choice to ask questions and get some indication of what will be needed in your situation.
Then budget your time and money to get the process started. You just never know when you will need it.
If you need to create or revise an estate plan or will, you should seek the assistance of a Los Angeles estate planning attorney at the Law Office of Philip J. Hoskins.
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