The only thing certain in life is death. It is an inevitable event that will happen to all of us. While people generally do not have any control over how or when they expire, they do have control over what happens to their possessions. In other words, you have the power to make decisions about what happens to your money, house, cars and other assets after your death. This is where an estate plan comes into practice.

Whether you are middle-aged and own extensive property in Port Saint Lucie or you’re 22 years old and finishing college, estate planning is for you. Not only will a strong estate plan protect your assets for future generations in the event of your death, it can also be beneficial if you become incapacitated and unable to care for yourself. Here are just a few reasons why you should start estate planning sooner rather than later.

Protect yourself

As mentioned above, estate planning can benefit you if you end up in a position where you can no longer make decisions or see to your own needs. For example, if you are in a car accident that leaves you in a coma, who will have the power to make medical decisions on your behalf? Who will be able to access your finances to pay your bills? You can include a durable power of attorney and a medical directive as part of your estate plan so that you can choose someone you trust to look after your needs while you are incapacitated.

Control what happens to your money

What will happen to your assets after you die? If you don’t have children or a spouse, do you know who will inherit them if you do not have an estate plan in place? Maybe you have a nephew you do not get along with and you don’t want a penny of your estate going to him. If you don’t have an estate plan in place and he is your next of kin, he could get everything. If you do have close family, an estate plan can save them a lot of time and stress since it will clearly state how you want your estate distributed.

Protect your assets

A common estate planning tool is a trust. This is a legal entity that can own property and distribute it to your beneficiaries over time. By moving property into a trust, it can be protected from various legal challenges that could otherwise cost you.

In addition, a trust can give you control over when and how the trustee distributes the wealth to your heirs. For example, if you have an adult child who is not particularly good with money, the trust can distribute to them a little at a time perhaps once per month. This will keep your beneficiary from having access to their entire share of the inheritance at one time.

Estate planning is a tool that is available for all people from all walks of life. Protect yourself and your family by starting the estate planning process today.