There are many misconceptions about estate planning, including what it entails in its entirety and when it becomes appropriate. The word “planning” is key here, and most successful plans are hatched with the long term in mind. There are those who never think about their estate throughout their lives, choosing to address the matter only after retirement when most of their financial choices have already been made. Depending on your desires and the extent of the assets you have acquired, this approach may work for you. But in most cases it is best to identify the things that you would like to be able to do for your loved ones upon your passing and work toward attaining the means for doing these things throughout your life.
This is why it is a good idea to work toward enabling an ideal estate plan long before you realistically feel as though any ultimate end-of-life distribution is forthcoming. When you look around and evaluate the family as it grows around you and grandchildren arrive, you may find yourself getting ideas concerning how you would like to be remembered. The first step is to identify your goals (perhaps a college fund for your each of your grandchildren) and then make choices that allow you to achieve your objectives.
A well-thought-out estate plan provides more than most people realize. In addition to leaving behind instructions, it can also guide some of your actions as you proceed with your life, and this structure helps people achieve their goals. Most of us would like to look back and feel as though we created a path for our children and grandchildren that was somewhat easier to traverse than our own. Intelligent estate planning can make that intention a reality and enable you to leave behind a lasting legacy that really adds an additional layer of meaning to your life’s work.