Attorney & Mediator
Attorney & Mediator

When is the right time?

Time

Many individuals never get around to doing their estate planning – because they are waiting for the “right time”.

For many, this is a magic age – they think they need to be over 50 or over 60 years old to need an estate plan.  Others wait even longer.

So what is the right time?

 

For those in their 60’s through their 70’s

Now is the right time.  You have acquired property and wealth.  While you are hoping for longevity, it is possible that you will not live into your 80’s and 90’s.  Accidental injury leading to death can take any of us at any time.  A serious and severe illness could strike and with the urgency of the medical issues you may not have the time or energy to thoughtfully devote to planning.

It is also more important than ever to have Powers of Attorney in place to assist you if you are disabled and unable to handle your business or financial affairs or your medical affairs.

 

For those in their 50’s

Now is the right time.  Your children may be over 18 but are not wise enough to handle the inheritance of your assets.  You are now accumulating wealth and property – hoping to add to that wealth.  While it is less likely that you will pass away, as with any age, there is no magic ball to tell us what our future brings.  Longevity?  or illness and disability? or accidental death?

 

For those in their 30’ and 40’s

Now is the right time.  Your children are minors.  It is important to make the difficult decision concerning their care if you are not there to raise them.  Who would they live with?  Who would raise them according to your values?  Who would manage the money that you leave behind for their benefit?

How your children would be cared for is a far more important issue than who gets the family piano.  This is not an inevitability, and somewhat unlikely.  However, it is not unheard of for minor children to lose both parents.  Take the time to plan for their future.

 

For those in their 20’s

Now is the right time.  You think that you own nothing but debt.  You may not have any children.  So why do any planning?

It is at a minimum important for you to have Durable Power of Attorneys for financial and legal matters as well as for medical matters.  If you are single, who would care for these matters if you were unable to do so?  While your parents may want to assist, they could not legally do so without these important documents in place.

So, when is the right time to do estate planning?  Now is the right time, young or old.  Get this item off of your bucket list and achieve a peace of mind knowing that you have tied up the loose ends and planned for your family.

Estate Planning for Horse Owners

For many with pets – dog and cats – consideration of who gets our beloved furry friends has become an important estate planning issue.  Who will care when you’re not there?

It is important to plan for a home and care for these pets.  Selecting a kind and caring individual that you trust is critical to the continued well-being of your dog or cat.  Yet, this is less complex than larger animals – after all, the animal can be taken into a home and cared for becoming part of a new family.  The amount to set aside for food, care and veterinarian fees is fairly modest.

This becomes more complex for horse owners.  While you may love your horse as much as the dog or cat owner loves their animals, it isn’t as easy as taking the animal into another home.  Horses require property and a constant, daily care that is more complex and time consuming than feeding a cat.

Have you planned for a disability?  If you are temporarily disabled and in the hospital, do you have someone who will step in immediately to care for your equine friends?  A well-meaning friend that is not familiar with the care of horses may not understand what is required.  After all, this involves more than putting out a bowl of kibble once a day.

Are there funds available to pay for supplies, food, and vet bills that can immediately be accessed?  Have you appointed an individual to immediately step in and take over this financial component?

Upon your death, how will your horse be cared for?  Have you discussed this issue with the individual(s) that you would select to care for the horse?  Are they willing and able to assume this responsibility?  A large dog may only live for 10 years while a horse may live to 20 or 25 years.

How will the financial responsibility be taken care of?  If you leave a stipend in your Will to the individual, the money may be distributed; however, there will be no continued oversight after your estate is closed.  There will be no legal assurance that the caregiver will actually continue to care for your horse.

You may want to consider having a trust in which the trustee is able to pay for the ongoing costs associated with the upkeep and care of your horse so long as it is cared for.  If the ownership is transferred to yet another individual, the trustee can then continue to make funds available to that new owner.

Who will care when you’re not there?  Responsible loving owners of horses as well as dogs and cats must plan for the care of their beloved friends if they are not available due to disability or death.