Legions of Americans – including many residents across Western New York – readily note the strong utility of a well-considered and drafted estate plan for older persons commanding significant assets.
It’s pretty clear, right? Persons of relatively advanced age having a diverse financial portfolio replete with assets need to protect that wealth. Moreover, they understandably want to take care of heirs and beneficiaries and pass along what they can to future family generations.
Conversely, though, many people queried on estate planning who are not elderly or notably wealthy fail to see a similar planning need for themselves.
That has always been a widely held view regarding estate planning. High numbers of would-be planners balk at the starting line and then turn back owing to a belief that planning applies only to deep-pocketed seniors.
Well, it does, of course. But it also applies broadly to individuals and families from across a wide age and wealth spectrum. Candidly, estate planning is an egalitarian endeavor relevant to a wide swath of the general public.
The broad-based applicability of estate planning
An in-depth article on the relevance of estate planning for members of virtually any demographic prominently makes this point at the outset: “Estate planning isn’t’ just for rich people.”
In fact, what a detailed U.S. News & World Report piece underscores is that, “Whether you’re in your 20s or 60s [or even well beyond that age], estate planning will give you control over financial and medical decisions.”
That control is key. As disconcerting as a loose end can be for many people even concerning a trivial matter, failure to address and attend to truly important things can prove consequential.
Here are a few matters spotlighted in the U.S. News article that invite planning scrutiny and a crafted strategy for individuals and families of many descriptions:
- Periodic attention paid to beneficiary designations, with relevant updating on instruments like savings accounts and insurance policies
- Will execution (candidly, a given, especially after some level of property has been amassed)
- Guardianship designation for children (this matter alone makes estate planning important for parents with growing families)
- Living will (advance care directive) relevant to disability and transitional health concerns
- Durable power of attorney relevant to financial matters
- Elder law concerns (e.g., long-term care matters including Medicare planning, nursing homes and more)
- Trust creation allowing for flexible control over asset preservation and distribution
There are of course many additional matters that timely and comprehensive planning can spotlight and seamlessly incorporate into a well-tailored strategy. A proven estate planning legal team can highlight them and ensure that a client’s goals and best interests are optimally advanced.