When should I start the estate planning process?

Jul 21, 2021

Paul S. Labiner

Paul Labiner


Right now!

An estate plan is like an insurance policy: It only works if it’s in place before you need it. The only time you can implement an estate plan is while you are alive and have the capacity to direct your own affairs. Dying without a plan in place could spark a bitter fight over your assets. And plans put in place after you’ve, for example, suffered a debilitating stroke could be challenged in court. In either case, the litigation could drag on for years and drain your estate.

Moreover, estates plans are not exclusively “death focused.” Many aspects of your estate plan will impact you during your lifetime, including tax mitigation strategies, asset protection options, and business succession arrangements. Finally, estate plans are also not exclusively “for old people.” An unforeseen event can strike at any moment—that’s why they’re called un-foreseen. A healthy person in their 40s, 50s, or 60s is not exempt from a sudden illness (e.g. Covid-19), incapacitating accident, or an untimely death that would leave their loved ones and valuable assets vulnerable.

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