People are aware of the fact that they should have an estate plan in place, but many seem to feel as though “it is not time yet.” Most would agree that there is never a very good time to die, and we all want to live long, fruitful, and robust lives.
Indeed, lifespans are expanding all the time, and right now the average lifespan in the United States is 78.4 years. But the fact is that this does not mean that you can wait until you are about 75 years old before you start to take estate planning seriously. It could be logically suggested that you should have an estate plan in place as soon as you become an adult who is self-supporting and responsible for your own affairs.
Many people are not aware of the fact that addressing healthcare contingencies is part of what comprehensive estate plans achieve. Think back to the case of Terri Schiavo, who was just 26 years of age when she fell into a vegetative state after suffering full cardiac arrest. After a number of years her husband wanted the feeding tubes that were keeping her alive removed and her parents resisted. A bitter legal battle resulted, but it could have been avoided if Ms. Schiavo would have had an estate plan in place that included advance health care directives such as a living will and a durable medical power of attorney.
The above scenario indicates why estate planning is important for adults of all ages, and when you get married and have children it becomes an absolute necessity. You must have an income replacement vehicle in place that is adequate to provide for your family for the long haul should you pass away suddenly and unexpectedly. Plus, it is important to assert your choice of a guardian who would care for your children if you and your spouse were to pass away together in an accident.
Estate planning is one of the responsibilities that goes along with adulthood, and if you have been putting it off now would be a good time to do the right thing and arrange for an appointment with an experienced and qualified estate planning attorney.
Regardless of your age, contact us to schedule an estate plan review. We’ll make sure you’ve answered the key questions in your life.