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Estate Planning Services for Every Stage of Your Life

Estate planning sounds like something you do as part of your end-of-life planning, but in truth, adults of any age should have a will, durable power of attorney and health care directives. Moreover, estate planning isn’t something you do once and then it’s taken care of forever. It’s a great exercise to imagine where you want to be in five years. Chances are, whether the future turns out exactly as you envisioned it or whether life takes you on a completely different path, you’ll build a personal legacy worth protecting.

Common Estate Planning Priorities for Different Life Stages

How do we know? We talked to the professionals. Randy Hooper at estate planning attorney and founding partner at Hooper, Zinn & McNamee, PLLC agreed to sit down and take us on a tour of different estate planning priorities that can come up at virtually every stage of your life.

  • Young singles are concerned about incapacity and the risks associated with traveling the globe. They are interested in designating the persons who will make financial and health care decisions for them if they become unable to make their own decisions. They are interested in leaving their assets to specific individuals and favorite causes or charities.
  • Parents of young children are concerned about providing for their children if one or both parents die. They are interested in appointing guardians and setting up testamentary trusts to manage their assets, pay for college and allow time for their children to become mature enough to manage for themselves.
  • Single-again adults are concerned about removing the former spouse from the estate plan.  They are interested in identifying new fiduciaries to replace the former spouse, and making sure the former spouse has no control over the assets left to the children. They may also be interested in a premarital agreement to preserve their assets for themselves and their children from the previous marriage.
  • Empty nesters are concerned about retirement, long term care and asset protection. They are interested in minimizing their income tax burden and passing their wealth in trust to their adult children so that creditors, spouses and prodigal spending habits can’t erode their legacy. They may also be interested in business succession planning for the family business and asset protection for investment real estate using family limited liability companies, family limited partnerships or asset protection trusts.
  • Blended families are concerned about balancing the interests of the surviving spouse, his children and her children. They are interested in marital trusts and family trusts, joint and separate ownership of assets, and creative solutions that make everyone happy.
  • Retirees are concerned about long term care, their grandchildren, estate taxes and making the transition as easy as possible on their children. They are interested in revocable living trusts to avoid probate court expense and delay, annual gifting, and grandchildren’s trusts.

Hooper also told us that he advises his clients “to review their estate plans every five years or more frequently as their family and financial circumstances change.” This may sound like a drag, but it doesn’t have to be when working with an estate planning attorney. Any time you recognize that your circumstances have changed, you simply call up your lawyer, explain what’s going on, and let them prepare the paperwork for you. By sitting down at the beginning and talking about what matters most to you in a broader sense, even complex estate planning issues can be handled with minimal disruption to your day-to-day life.

Different life stages are also associated with different kinds of storage projects. Exploring the world, moving in together, starting a family, breaking up, kids leaving the nest, and planning for retirement. Each life stage may involve a need for storage…and estate planning services. Get complete peace of mind by working with the pros.