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You don't need to be retired to think about an estate plan

Have you thought about your estate plan today? Do you even have an estate plan in place just in case the worst should happen? If you're like a lot of Millennials and some Gen Xers, you may have answered no to these two questions. That's because many in this age group associate estate planning with retirement age. But as the famous insurance commercial explains: that's not how this works.

Making an estate plan can really happen at any time during your life. But as many estate planning professionals will tell you, the best time to start planning is right after transitioning into adulthood, typically after the age of 18, when an individual starts accumulating their own assets. 

Why draft an estate plan now?

Nobody can plan for their own death, which is why making an estate plan sooner is considered better. For young Millennials and Gen Xers, an initial estate plan may be nothing more than a will because this may be all they need at first. If an individual gets married or starts a family, a will can easily be updated to account for these life events. And as a person ages, additional estate planning tools may be employed, like trusts, and new documents drafted, such as powers of attorney and advance health care directives.

Life without an estate plan

Though it's possible to go your entire life without making an estate plan, this course of action is ill advised. If you should die suddenly or become incapacitated, your family may disagree on your end-of-life wishes, which can lead to litigation. If you die without a will, your estate will be distributed according to state intestacy laws, meaning your assets may not go to whom you want.

In the end, the decision to ignore the estate planning process may leave your loved ones in a difficult and challenging legal situation that can leave them feeling frustrated and overwhelmed.

Consulting with a practiced estate planning lawyer can help you better understand your options to see what's best for you and your family. They can also help you start the process of protecting your assets now by planning for the future.

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