Estate planning is something everyone must do at some point. However, if you look at the statistics, you’ll find that it’s not the norm at all. Most people do not have an estate plan and have not written a will.
One reason for this is age. Studies suggest that people become more conscious of the need for estate planning as they get older. This does make logical sense; someone who is in their 50s or 60s may suddenly realize that the average life expectance is only two decades away, and they can understand why they need an estate plan more than they did at a younger age.
However, to suggest that only the elderly need estate plans is also inaccurate. While average life expectancy may be in the late 70s — it moves from year to year — many people don’t make it that long due to sickness, disease, car accidents, violence, workplace accidents and many, many other factors. Nothing is a guarantee.
To that end, all people need to think about their families. Even if you’re in your 30s, what would happen to your family if you passed away unexpectedly? Ideally, you’ll never have to consider it, but no one can say for sure. The key to protecting your family is to plan as far in advance as you can. Even if you don’t need the plan for 40 or 50 years, at least you know it’s there and your family gets some peace of mind.
If that’s something you’re interested in doing, make sure you carefully consider exactly what legal steps you’ll need to take.