Palm Springs Law Blog

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Why You Shouldn't Put Off Estate Planning Until Your Retirement

Life is full of surprises. Although having conversations about retirement and end-of-life care is difficult, early-stage estate planning can give you and your loved ones some much-needed peace of mind.

Situations in life are ever-changing, especially when it comes to family and assets. As such, it's critical to consider the financial and social implications of your estate. While many people assume estate planning is something to be done later in life, the earlier you begin planning for your future, the better prepared you'll be.

Protecting Your Family

Failing to leave behind an estate plan can lead to complex legal and financial situations for your family and loved ones.

California residents who die without a will are subject to the court's discretion. When an estate plan is in place, a judge will generally take over and make difficult decisions about an individual's assets, including distribution.

Estate plans cover a wide range of topics that can impact you decades before retirement age, such as:

  • Liquid assets
  • Beneficiaries
  • Trusts and wills
  • Businesses
  • Medical directives
  • Guardianships

Even if you're young and healthy, it's wise to establish a preliminary estate plan that can provide simple instructions regarding your finances, end-of-life care, and other vital directives. Additionally, if you have minor children, you can give guardianship instructions to ensure that they're protected in the event of a tragedy.

Although many of these conversations can be difficult to have, you should set aside time to develop a plan of action with a seasoned estate planning lawyer.

Protecting Yourself

Many people believe that estate planning is meant for older individuals. In reality, though, it covers many elements that can affect you during every stage of life.

While most estate plans are designed around financial decisions, you can also establish medical directives and powers of attorney that can help protect your best interests in the event of a tragedy.

A power of attorney is ideal for anyone looking to ensure that any legal decisions and end-of-life care are met. If you fall ill, suffer an accident, or become incapacitated, a power of attorney is the best way to protect your interests.

With that in mind, it’s important to start making critical decisions about the future of your assets and family before retirement.

Safeguarding Your Assets

As with most estate plans, assets are a crucial consideration. Early estate planning can ensure that your funds are safe and distributed accordingly should anything happen to you before you reach retirement age.

While some people enjoy the simplicity of a last will, others choose to establish trusts to redirect their money and assets for specific financial, medical, or personal reasons. Whatever the case, early-age estate planning can get the ball rolling on many financial issues that can protect your assets down the road.

Avoiding Unnecessary Expenses and Delays

Whenever someone foregoes an estate plan, California courts charge expensive administrative fees that often impact their friends, family, and loved ones.

Some everyday expenses you avoid when you establish an estate plan earlier in life include:

  • Distributing your assets to beneficiaries
  • Dissolving a business venture or company
  • Establishing guardianship for any minor children

The costs can quickly add up when the courts intervene because no estate plan was left behind. In many cases, the families are left to front hefty legal bills before these issues can be resolved.

Pasadena, CA Estate Planning Attorneys Can Help

Heritage Legal, PC assists clients with estate planning matters throughout Palm Springs, CA. Whether you're looking to write a will, establish a trust, or protect your assets through alternative means, our team is here to help.

Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.

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