There are plenty of difficult tasks people put off, despite the benefits of completing them. Things like starting a workout routine, reorganizing the basement or quitting a bad habit may not be easy, but they are often valuable in the long run.
Creating an estate plan also falls into this category. But before you push this to the bottom of your list of priorities, consider the following reasons why it can be crucial to start estate planning now.
- No one can predict the future. You may be healthy and young now, but that can change sooner than you expect. When you have a plan in place, you are establishing critical safeguards and making a road map that can help you and your loved ones navigate unexpected paths, whether this guide is needed in a matter of months or decades.
- Some planning solutions take time. Many people expect Medicaid to cover expenses related to long-term care. However, to be eligible for Medicaid, some people must exhaust their own personal property and finances first. To avoid this, you can start planning well before you ever need Medicaid. Doing so can help you preserve wealth and property without facing transfer penalties or delays in receiving Medicaid.
- Your family may be worried. If you have a partner, children, siblings or parents, they have a stake in your decision whether to have an estate plan. They will likely be the people making decisions on your behalf and receiving property; they will be the people going through probate and other legal processes. Thus, they can be quite relieved when they know that you have a plan for difficult times.
For these reasons, it can be a good idea to start thinking about your legacy and estate plan sooner rather than later. Like other tasks you may be putting off, taking the first step can be the hardest. However, it is the most crucial in completing a plan that protects you, your family and your future.