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By John R. Merlino Jr. Esq.
Founding Attorney

When you think of estate planning, you generally picture someone in their mid-60s or older. If you’re below retirement age, you might think you have years to go before you need to consult an estate-planning attorney. But what if you found out there are a wide range of benefits to planning an estate far sooner?

An inability to address the future is sometimes accidental. You may be more focused on current needs and decisions while you’re raising a family or starting a business. Or you may believe you haven’t amassed a substantial enough inheritance, or you simply don’t enjoy thinking about a day when you won’t be in the picture.

We understand how difficult it can be, but taking the time to start your estate plan can greatly help your loved ones in the future.

If you are a homeowner, for example, you should have an estate plan in place, no matter your age. This can ensure that your loved ones are taken care of in the event of your death.

Below are five critical reasons you should start building your estate plan today.

5 Benefits of Starting Your Estate Plan Early

It doesn’t matter how old you are, what your living situation is, or if you plan to add to your family in the future. Getting a head start has a plethora of incredible advantages.

1. It Protects Your Children

You imagined a long and joyful parenthood when your children were born, complete with graduations, weddings, and grandkids. When both parents pass away before the children reach the age of 18 and neither parent has made a will, the courts will appoint a guardian for your child. Without a will, you will not have input into the court’s decision.

It’s very unlikely that you’ll pass while your children are still young, yet it can happen. Schedule an appointment with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney for your children’s future security.

2. Creditors Can’t Take Your Assets

With the correct estate strategy, creditors, ex-spouses, litigation, and court judgments may all be avoided. Being vigilant is vital: it’s too late to start looking at asset protection techniques once you’ve been issued a notice of a lawsuit.

Having an estate plan will safeguard your assets throughout your lifetime and ensure that they are preserved for your beneficiaries when you pass away.

3. Less of a Tax Burden

A well-thought-out estate plan can help you pass assets to your loved ones in a way that reduces their tax burden. You can lower their estate taxes and federal and state inheritance taxes a significant amount.

There are additional options for limiting the amount of income tax they may be obligated to pay as a condition of their inheritance. An estate planning attorney will explain the ins and outs of taxation during a consultation.

4. Prevents Unnecessary Family Disputes

You’ve likely heard so many stories about family disputes that break out when someone passes away intestate or becomes incompetent. If you pass away or become mentally incapable due to an illness or accident, an estate plan allows you to choose who inherits or manages your money and possessions.

Making these arrangements ahead of time will help avoid family strife and guarantee that your wealth and affairs are handled according to your wishes.

5. Protection from Unwanted Beneficiaries

Whether it’s an heirloom furniture set or a fancy mountain getaway, one of the most important aspects of estate planning is guaranteeing that all of your belongings go to the recipients you choose. If you die without a will, the court will decide who inherits your assets.

Because a court does not know your family, your fiscally irresponsible nephew may acquire more income than he can reasonably handle, or your partners may find themselves negotiating deals with your partner without your knowledge. It can be a mess, which is why you should contact our attorneys and start planning now.

About the Author
John is a fierce advocate and the office guru for problem-solving and brainstorming. He guides clients through every stage of a real estate transaction from offer to contract, navigating through nerve-shattering home inspection and title clearance concerns, maintaining constant contact with lenders, conducting the actual closing, and continuing to advise clients with regard to any post-closing concerns.  John brings a practical and fair-minded approach to the process which has earned him the respect of his clients and peers.