Some may say estate planning is a “cradle to the grave” process. In fact, it’s crucial to devote thought and time to estate planning through the years because estate plans do touch on people of all ages.
From Birth to Age 18
Minors cannot sign estate planning documents, like Wills or durable powers of attorney. Alabama law states that only someone who is “18 or more years of age who is of sound mind may make a will.”
However, estate plans formed by parents and grandparents do affect children’s lives. Parents typically name guardians for their children in their Wills. Family members may set up trusts or provide specific bequests for children in their estate planning documents.
So, while children cannot prepare an estate plan, it’s still an important part of their lives.
This age group is a little more difficult to define. Anyone over age 18 needs to prepare a Will and other estate planning documents like a durable power of attorney and advanced directives to health care providers.
Younger people generally don’t want to think about dying or becoming incapacitated, but it does happen. The aftermath of a young person’s death or incapacity is only more difficult when an estate plan has not been prepared.
The Middle Years
Many so-called middle-aged people have children to support. They may have begun accumulating valuable property and have some definite ideas about where that property will go after they die. Incapacity and long-term care planning become more important around this age also.
While the hustle and bustle of daily living may be intense, preparing an estate plan is one of the most important things adults can do for their families.
The Golden Years
People in this age group may be concerned about retirement, long-term care, and death. It’s important to put arrangements in place now if they have not already done so. A properly created and comprehensive estate plan can make a big difference, not only in their lives but also in the lives of their family members.
Estate Planning Through the Years Is a Gift You Give to Your Family
Not only is it important to prepare an estate plan, it’s also essential that you review and update it as needed.
Attorney Bruce Adams is an Alabama attorney who knows how to listen to his client’s legal concerns and provide actionable advice. Please contact Bruce at 256-237-3339 to set up an appointment. Our office is located in Anniston, Alabama, but we assist clients in surrounding Calhoun, Cleburne, Etowah, and St. Clair Counties.