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When should you start thinking about your estate plan?

Estate planning feels like something you should do in the future, but you just are not sure when that means you really need to get down to it. You want that plan in place before you pass away, but how do you predict that? Is this something you should do after you get married? After you have kids? After you retire?

A lot of people struggle with these questions and they put it off. However, experts agree that the reality is simple: It's never too soon. No matter how old you are or where you are in life, you can start your estate planning.

Unpredictability

The main reason that it is never too soon lies in the unpredictability of life. People tend to assume that they can do their estate planning late in life because they need it when they pass away. Why not wait until they retire, take stock of their assets and then make a plan?

In a perfect world, that would be fine, but you cannot predict the end. You don't know about things like illnesses and accidents. You are far better off if you make your plan decades too early than if you put it off until it is too late.

Does wealth matter?

Another reason that people put it off is because they think that wealth is the most important part of estate planning. If you don't have significant assets saved up, does that mean you don't need an estate plan?

It doesn't. Even small estates have to get dispersed in some fashion. "It doesn't have anything to do with net worth," noted one expert. "It has everything to do with taking care of the people you love. You don't want your parents to have to go through the probate process for your $5,000 checking account."

Estate planning changes

Estate planning may become more clearly important when your life takes some of those predictable steps. If you have kids, now you need a plan to make sure they're taken care of. If you get an inheritance from your parents, you need a plan to distribute that to the next generation.

However, you should not look at these landmark events as the time to start your estate planning. Remember, it's never too early. What you really want to do at these crucial points in your life is to update the plan you already have so that it reflects your new needs.

Your plan

If you want to get started on your estate plan in Florida, make sure you understand all of the options you have and how to set things up for your family and loved ones.

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