Whether you’ve just graduated high school or have been retired for 20 years, you should always — at least in the back of your mind — be thinking about your and your family’s future. For those of us in our 60s, 70s, 80s, and beyond, estate planning is essential.
Luckily, there are senior centers and various organizations across the country that are encouraging people to start taking their estate planning seriously.
According to The Coast News Group, the Rancho Santa Fe Senior Center in California invited attorney Shoshannah Hart from the Estate Planning and Legacy Law Center to discuss the essentials of future financial planning and asset distribution.
“Generally, people execute their trust and their estate plan, and they think that it’s done, but it’s a living document,” said Hart, who noted that it’s quite common for people to overlook the importance of not only having these documents but keeping them updated. “It’s called a Revocable Living Trust, it changes with you and needs to be changed as your life changes.”
The majority of elderly Americans have various forms of estate plans in place in order to assist with their family’s financial future. In fact, 81% of Americans over the age of 72 years old and 58% of baby boomers (between the ages of 53 and 71) have estate planning documents. Younger Americans, however, aren’t as eager to prioritize estate planning. Approximately 64% of Generation Xers (ages 37 to 52) and 78% of millennials (ages 18 to 36) do not have a will or estate planning documents. Additionally, 29% of those without a will across all age groups state that it was because they “don’t have enough assets to leave anyone.”
That’s not the case, though, no matter how little someone might have this is important as you age.
Here are some additional reasons why it’s important for you to have an estate plan — at any age:
- To plan for your own individual needs.
- To dispose of wealth in the manner you wish.
- To plan and achieve your philanthropic goals.
- To protect and secure family wealth.
- To prepare future generations for the wealth they will one day receive.
- To minimize transfer taxes.