Updated: Aug 28
There is a lot to consider when to comes to protecting yourself, your loved ones, and your estate. But, you cannot let the uncertainties of life get in the way of creating your estate plan. Having an “imperfect” plan in place is generally much better than having no plan at all.
When planning an estate, you’ll want to consider all the angles, but there are inevitably a number of “known unknowns” that can make planning difficult. These include:
How long you will live
How much money you will have left over, which can depend on longevity and potential need for care
Your children’s health
Your children’s financial stability, now and perhaps many decades into the future
Many of your estate planning choices also inherently involve certain value judgements, such as:
Should you treat all children equally, or should their financial situations be taken into account?
Should you create trusts that protect assets for your children and grandchildren, or simply provide that the funds be distributed outright at your death for them to use as they choose?
Whom should you appoint in various roles—as trustees, as agents under powers of attorney, as agents under advance health care directives, etc.?
Not having definitive answers to these questions can make it difficult to finalize a plan. However, before you find yourself succumbing to analysis paralysis or giving up on planning altogether, you should consider the following:
Almost any plan is better than no plan
We can’t predict the future, but we can do the best we can based on what we know today
No plan is irrevocable; you can make changes if you rethink what you want to do
It’s important to review your plan every five to eight years in any case, since circumstances and laws change
The best way to approach estate planning is to think through these issues and then create the best plan based on current circumstances. A skilled attorney can help you talk through all of your options. To learn more, call us for an appointment.