Estate Planning - Who Needs it?

First and foremost, my role as your estate planning attorney is to listen to your concerns and tailor estate planning documents which address your concerns and ensure that the documents are representative of your wishes.  Depending on your season of life, your concerns and needs will be different.  Each of these seasons present their unique set of excitements, challenges and concerns.  It is important to determine what these needs are and prepare the documents which will best meet the needs of my clients.  In the following examples, I explore the typical concerns and needs of clients at different seasons of life.

 
 
“Spring is a time of new beginnings, new possibilities…” Tara Killen

“Spring is a time of new beginnings, new possibilities…” Tara Killen

Spring

A 20 or 30 year old is in his or her spring of life.  It is during this season that individuals are finding their place in the world.  They are developing their careers and finding their passions in life.  It is the time that they are learning how to create a budget, buying their first home, having children, and starting a retirement plan.  

During this age, most individuals believe that they do not need estate planning.  However, this is simply incorrect.  At this age, some of the important documents that he or she should consider having are as follows:

  • Last Will and Testament

  • Living Trust / Pour-Over Will (depending on his or her assets)

  • Guardianship provisions for minor children

  • Durable Power of Attorney

  • Advance Health Care Directive


summer

In the summer of our lives, we are in our 40's and 50's.  It is during this age period that individuals typically start to think about estate planning and retirement.  Some of the common concerns are planning for retirement, paying for their children's college education, building wealth, managing their businesses and succession planning, and taking care of aging parents.

Many individuals in this age group start to think seriously about the preparation of estate planning documents.  This concern often develops because he or she has witnessed or administered a probate and knows the consequences of not planning.  

During this season of life, some of the estate planning documents that you may want to consider are:

  • Last Will and Testament

  • Living Trust / Pour-Over Will (depending on his or her assets)

  • Guardianship provisions for minor children

  • Durable Power of Attorney

  • Advance Health Care Directive

Picture of yellow leaves and quote: “And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”  ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Picture of yellow leaves and quote: “And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”

― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby


“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower” Albert Camus

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower” Albert Camus

autumn

In the Autumn of life, individuals are in their 60's and 70's.  At this age, you may be thinking of retiring or have already retiring.  Many are thinking about when to collect social security and at 65 are applying for Medicare.  Many are concerned about retirement and having enough money for their lifetimes, engaging in long-term care planning, downsizing the home, minimizing taxes, considering legacy gifts to their children, grandchildren, family, friends, and charities.

During this season of life, some of the estate planning documents you may want to consider are:

  • Last Will and Testament

  • Living Trust / Pour-Over Will (depending on his or her assets)

  • Durable Power of Attorney

  • Advance Health Care Directive


Winter

In the Winter of life, individuals are in their 80's and above.  It is a time when many of them are thinking of their legacy.  Many individuals want to ensure that they leave legacy gifts to family and charities. Oftentimes, there are concerns about health care costs and long-term care considerations.

During this season of life, some of the estate planning documents you may want to consider are:

  • Last Will and Testament

  • Living Trust / Pour-Over Will (depending on his or her assets)

  • Durable Power of Attorney

  • Advance Health Care Directive

“How beautiful the leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.” James Burroughs

“How beautiful the leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.” James Burroughs