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Waiting to create an estate plan? That could be a mistake

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2024 | Estate Law

It’s not uncommon for people to procrastinate when it comes to estate planning. They know they probably need a will and additional documents to protect themselves. Still, it is surprisingly easy for people to come up with excuses about why they should delay estate planning. 

However, professionals who work with those with medical issues or legal challenges, as well as those who support older adults, often agree that estate planning earlier in life is typically the best option for many reasons.

Medical emergencies aren’t predictable

People generally recognize that they won’t have to worry about the maladies of old age until after retirement. However, they could end up hurt in a car crash or violent incident at any moment. 

If people do not have an estate plan in place, their loved ones may struggle in an emergency. They may not have the authority to act on someone’s behalf when they become medically incapacitated. They may not know what that individual’s wishes are or be able to manage their affairs, like paying their bills. 

Creating documents that address someone’s death and future medical emergencies while they are young and healthy gives individuals and their loved ones confidence that they can respect wishes and make informed choices should the worst occur.

Other people are vulnerable, too

It is easy to procrastinate about estate planning when thinking solely of one’s own comfort or legacy. When people recognize how much risk there is for loved ones, establishing an estate plan as early as possible may make more sense. 

For example, if someone has a spouse or children, they will probably want to provide resources for their loved ones during an emergency or after their death. They also probably want to offer guidance in the form of clear instructions regarding medical preferences or funeral arrangements. 

Finally, people may even want to designate someone they trust other than their spouse or children to handle matters in a personal emergency. That way, the people who they love the most won’t be subject to an additional burden during what could likely be a very difficult time. 

Creating an estate plan earlier in life can give someone greater peace of mind and help ensure that they and their family benefit from important protections if something unexpected occurs.

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