Family homes, retirement accounts and heirlooms — these all come under a new light during estate planning. Walking through this complex process is eye-opening for many children with aging parents.
We see many families start to get more involved with planning during a major life change, such as when it becomes apparent one member needs long-term medical care. Before such an event, few people are even aware of asset preservation or transference strategies.
If you are ready to start putting protections in place, please know that there is plenty you could do at any stage of life. Here are some of the considerations we often recommend for younger people thinking about the future.
Review your portfolio
If you do not have a trusted financial advisor managing or monitoring your accounts, it is possible that some of your positions are out of alignment with your current goals and requirements. Riskier holdings that represented opportunity earlier in life may need conversion to stable, income-generating assets as you reach retirement, for example.
Especially for individuals with significant assets, trusts are often critical for various goals: Protecting assets from creditors, directing income or enabling the smooth transference of funds, for example. There are trusts for nearly every application, and many do not necessitate giving away your assets before you want to.
The IRS allows a pre-determined dollar value of tax-free gifts per year to your children in most situations. Gifts could be a good complement to your estate plan and trust portfolio.
You do not have to do everything right now. In fact, because laws change frequently in some areas, young people tend to benefit from a more long-term approach to estate planning than do their parents and grandparents. The key concept — and what is likely to give you the greatest peace of mind — is to ensure that you have done everything necessary for your current stage of life.