Sometimes profound thoughts come from very unexpected and interesting sources. In the Pixar movie Ratatouille, Remy, the mouse, wisely declares, “The only thing predictable about life is its unpredictability.” There’s no guarantee what tomorrow will bring. What we do know is that the right estate plan will protect you and your loved ones, but it has to be done while you’re alive and have the capacity to legally enter into a contract.
Estate planning is about transferring assets to your beneficiaries the way you want, when you want, with the least amount of court costs, legal fees, and complications. It also includes making decisions for how your estate would be managed if you’re still alive but unable to make your own legal decisions due to an incapacitating illness or injury. A health care proxy and a living will can outline who you want to make health care choices for you and how you would like end-of-life decisions to be handled. Right now, you have the power to create the best estate plan for yourself and your family, but once you suffer a health crisis or pass away, you won’t have that power unless you’ve done a written, legally enforceable estate plan.
Some people don’t think they have enough assets to need an estate plan right now, but that’s a misconception. Even if you have moderate wealth, you want to make sure that your family will easily have access to it if needed.
There are also people who put off doing their estate plan because they think of changes coming in the near future that they would want covered in their estate plan like buying a house or having children. But you should think about estate planning as something that will grow and evolve with you as your life circumstances change over time. You can easily update your estate plan as your life changes.
So, the answer is that it’s never too early to start estate planning. Right now, today, is the best time to put your estate plan in place so it takes care of you and the people you love in case a tragedy does happen.
My goal is to make estate planning as easy as possible for my clients. Whether you have a large or modest estate, you want to control how things are given to your loved ones, and document your choices for medical care and end-of-life services. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617.299.6976 today to set up your free initial consultation.