Ask a person in their 20s or 30s whether they need an estate plan; more than likely the answer will be no. Why? They might say that estate planning is just for the wealthy, or they might suggest that they are too young to worry about such matters.
But what about people who feel that they are too old for an estate plan?
The fact is a person cannot be too young or too old for an estate plan. Even if an individual is in their 80s or 90s without a plan, it is never too late to make one – especially if they are a high-net worth individual (HNWI). A lifetime of arduous work can be wiped out without the proper planning in place to protect your wealth and legacy for you and your family.
While HNWI’s are likely to already have an estate plan, there are people in this situation who pass away without having created one. The result? Oftentimes, their families end up in court, fighting to gain access to the deceased’s assets and personal property.
In addition, aging brings with it an increased risk for developing health issues. If you have not legally given someone you trust the authority to act on your behalf when it comes to medical and financial decisions for you should you become incapacitated, the court may have to intervene and appoint someone.
Now is the Perfect Time
There is no specific age with respect to when to establish an estate plan since your estate planning needs will change with life events. Whether you are young, married, single, have a family or not, create a trust and add your assets as you accumulate them.
Without a secure trust in place you will be susceptible to threats because of your wealth. And after your death, the financial security of your loved ones can be threatened, for example, by:
- Marriage and divorce
- Long-term care
What Makes the Most Sense for You?
While there is no ideal age at which to begin the process, the sooner a solid trust is put into play the better. According to AARP, approximately 42% of baby boomers do not have any estate-planning documents in place.
Estate planning for affluent individuals requires expertise due to complex tax implications, the possibility of predatory lawsuits, and other risks. Enlist the services of an attorney whose area of practice includes comprehensive estate planning and asset protection for ultra-high-net-worth individuals’.
The Jeffrey M. Verdon Law Groups’ high net worth estate planning services in California offers 30-plus years of experience, wisdom, and concierge-style service developing customized strategies with proven results.