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It's never too early to begin estate planning

Many Houston residents are good at planning. They are organized, planning the events of their days to maximize their efficiency both at work and in their personal lives. So, why are there so many people who haven't started an estate plan yet?

According to a recent report, only about 40 percent of adults in America have some sort of estate planning documents, such as a will or a trust. That estimation is based on all adults over the age of 18. The good news, however, is that the chances that an adult in America has an estate plan goes up with age. The report indicated that 81 percent of adults over the age of 72 have estate plans in place, while 58 percent of adults between the ages of 53 and 71 also have estate plans in place.

It seems normal that many people would associate drafting estate planning documents with getting older, for an obvious reason: these documents usually become effective upon death. However, no one knows what the future might hold. It is a risk to continue to wait to have an estate plan drafted.

Why would a younger person or couple need an estate plan? Well, perhaps the most important reason is if they have children. An estate plan can encompass contingencies for how those children would be cared for, both financially and by naming a guardian. Unfortunately, the recent article noted that 78 percent of adults in America between the ages of 18 and 36 do not have an estate plan.

Source: aarp.org, "Haven't Done A Will Yet?," Barbranda Lumpkins Walls, Feb. 24, 2017

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