When should I make an estate plan?

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When Should I Make An Estate Plan

Estate planning offers those who make one for themselves (known as a “Testator”) peace of mind towards their future. Establishing wills, trusts, funeral wishes, and healthcare directives allows a testator to see that they have protected their best interests for years. While these benefits are all valuable, when should someone make an estate plan for themselves?

Estate planning covers a lot of areas of planning for the future. It is not hard to see the benefits of proper planning, but knowing when to start planning is complicated. Depending on your age, estate planning benefits testators in different ways.

Young adults

It is not often that young adults have a fortune to give to their loved ones if they pass away early on, but they can still benefit from an estate plan. A person in their 20s or 30s can still benefit from a healthcare directive, a document that specifies what decisions they want to make when they can no longer speak or act on their behalf. A young testator can also establish a Power of Attorney, someone who can make decisions on for the testator when they cannot.

Middle-aged adults

When parents are thinking about estate planning, the question of what happens to their children after their passing usually comes up. Estate planning allows a testator to establish guardianship specifications for their children. This way, parents can rest easy knowing that someone they trust will look after their children if they should suddenly pass away.

Golden years

As people get older, they may collect properties like real estate, retirement benefits, businesses, or other valuable assets. A testator can establish wills and trusts to specify who will be the beneficiaries of these benefits and how they can receive these assets. These decisions can ensure that loved ones receive exactly what the testator wants them to, instead of letting the government decide through probate.

Do not leave things to chance

Without an estate plan, friends and family will have to make serious decisions without your input. Keep loved ones from guessing about your wishes by answering the big questions today. Now is always the best time to create an estate plan, and everyone can benefit from one.


Michael Ritigstein is a Founding Partner of the firm concentrating his efforts in supporting the firm's litigation, corporate and estate matters. Mr. Ritigstein graduated from the University of Delaware in 1996 and Seton Hall University School of Law in 2000. In 2007 he received a Masters of Law in Taxation with a concentration in Estate Planning, from Temple University's Beasley School of Law.

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