Estate planning is a complicated and emotional subject to discuss, which is why many people put it off for as long as possible. Unfortunately, this means that many people reach a point where they need an estate plan, but they do not have one in place. When this situation happens, it is often their loved ones who wind up cleaning up their mess. Thus, you should look for these five signs that it is time to plan your estate:
- You are getting older
- Of course, one of the biggest groups that can benefit from proper estate planning are the elderly. As you get older, your risk of being seriously injured or falling ill gets substantially higher, which could leave you incapacitated or worse. Estate planning can make sure there are procedures in place for taking care of you if you can no longer take care of yourself, and can ensure your estate is distributed the way you would want it to be when you pass away.
- You have chronic health issues
- Even if you are still relatively young, estate planning can benefit you if you have chronic health problems, especially those that may require prolonged hospitalization. This could include diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), or any other condition that can have severe health complications. Having an estate plan in place will help protect you if you become unable to care for yourself, and protect your interests in the event that the worst happens.
- You have a family history of certain diseases
- You may be healthy right now, but even a family history of certain diseases should be a cause for concern, and a reason to consider estate planning. This includes a family history of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis, or other diseases that are likely to result in you becoming incapacitated later in life. If you wait until you start experiencing symptoms of these diseases, it may be too late.
- You work in a dangerous profession
- Another good reason to plan your estate is if you work in a profession that has an unusually high likelihood of on-the-job injury. Construction workers, truck drivers, agricultural workers, police officers, and others in especially dangerous jobs are at a constant risk of severe injury or death. By having an estate plan in place, though, they can mitigate the risks of their professions for them and their families.
- You have dependents you care for
- Finally, if you have any dependents you care for, you should make sure you have an estate plan to ensure they will be taken care of, if something should happen to you. This can include minor children, elderly relatives, or adult children with certain disabilities, who otherwise cannot care for themselves. An estate plan can ensure they will not need to worry about having their needs addressed if you are no longer there to care for them yourself.
The elder law attorneys at David J. Lorber & Associates, PLLC will thoroughly analyze your estate and work with you to determine the best means of transferring your assets, minimizing taxes, and ensuring your needs are met. For comprehensive estate planning services in New York, call David J. Lorber & Associates, PLLC at (631) 750-0900 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation at our Setauket office.