How better estate plans, contracts and agreements can reduce stress in your life and help you prepare for a prosperous future.

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Estate planning should be done sooner rather than later

There are many unknowns that people may not want to contemplate as they grow into adulthood in Washington. One fact that is known that all should contemplate is that everyone will someday die. In order for one's final wishes to be carried out, estate planning is a task that should be tackled. No one knows how many years one has left, so it is better to act sooner rather than later. There are other reasons that people will give for not establishing an estate plan.

One of the most common reasons cited is the perception that one does not have sufficient assets to merit having a will. The fallacy here is that a will does not just allow for disposition of one's financial assets. It can also address one's final wishes regarding burial or cremation. Without an estate plan in place family squabbles could arise that would contribute to the stress of a difficult time.

Another issue that is often overlooked once a plan is in place is the belief that the plan has been completed and no changes are needed. An estate plan is most effective when reviewed frequently as changes in one's family, job or financial situation can all lead to a need to update the documents. In addition, changes to tax law may affect how and when one's assets are distributed. For example, in 1999 the federal tax exemption for an estate was $650,000. In 2019 it is $11.4 million.

After college graduation, and landing that first job, a next step may be to look into estate planning. The sooner one establishes one and understands the fundamentals of maintaining it, the better off one may be. An experienced lawyer in Washington can review one's financial situation and can suggest what to include in a successful plan. A well-thought-out plan can provide peace of mind and knowledge that one's final wishes will be carried out.

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