Estate Planning at Any Age

July 17, 2024

No one enjoys thinking about what happens after their death, but estate planning is too important to put off. For this reason, it’s critical to work with a good financial advisor who can help you arrange your estate in a way that will maximize what you leave to your heirs, and minimize the work they will have to do in the event of your death.

“But I’m Too Young for Estate Planning”

While most of us will enjoy a comfortable lifespan after retirement, it’s worthwhile to take the time to lay the groundwork for estate planning even while we’re young or middle-aged in the event that something unforeseen happens. This is particularly important if you have a spouse that does not earn enough to support a household, or dependent or college-age children. While you may need to adjust your planning as you get older and your circumstances change, building a good foundation now will help ease the way for alterations in the future.

Finding the Right Estate Planner

There are many options to choose from, and it’s critical to find an organization or individual who will work with you to understand your needs. According to Allison Lee writing for Kiplinger, the hallmarks of a good estate planner include the following:

They are willing to consider setting up trusts. Not everyone wants their estate passed directly on to their heirs. In the case of children who are minors or young adults, you may wish to set up trusts that will allow them to finish school, train for a career or attain a certain age before they are able to access the bulk of their inheritance.

“A competent financial adviser will know to ask how your beneficiary will inherit — and not just how much,” wrote Lee. “If they’re to guide your loved ones when you’re gone, this information is critical to making an appropriate recommendation down the road.”

They will help you keep track of your non-probate assets. Non-probate assets are property that doesn’t come under the terms of a will, like life insurance policies that have a beneficiary named; assets under a living trust; funds, securities, or U.S. savings bonds that are registered on transfer on death (TOD) or payable on death (POD) forms; funds held in a pension plan; wages, salary, or commissions due the deceased person (only up to a certain amount depending on the state); cars or boats registered in TOD form; and vehicles or other household goods that are distributed to immediate family members (laws vary by state).

“…Advisers are uniquely positioned to help in this process; even a client’s estate planning attorney won’t have the up-to-date financial information that a financial adviser has at their fingertips,” wrote Lee. “They might be the first to catch if an insurance policy is owned by the client instead of an irrevocable life insurance trust (which might help save on estate taxes) or if a brokerage account has yet to be transferred to the client’s revocable living trust.”

They will get to know your family. Since your heirs will no doubt work with the individual or company you choose, it’s a good sign when a financial advisor shows interest in getting to know your family and their needs in order to better guide you through planning your estate. Look for a solid financial services company with a long history and a strong future so your estate planning partner will be there when your heirs need them.

Learn how Arizona-based Prime Wealth Advisors’ full-service retirement planning, tax, estate, and wealth management can help you ensure your retirement funds will last for your lifetime. Call 623.77.PRIME for more information.

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