Is It Ever Too Early for Estate Planning? A Colorado Guide to Protecting Your Legacy

February 29, 2024

Many people view estate planning as something that only the elderly or extremely wealthy need to worry about. Regardless of age or assets, everyone can benefit from this proactive and thoughtful process. Johnson Law Group, your team of trusted Colorado family law attorneys, is here to explain why estate planning isn't just about death. It's about ensuring a smoother future for yourself and your loved ones at any stage in life. Let's explore the right time to start estate planning and why you should take advantage of this critical task.

Why Thinking "It's Too Early" is a Mistake

Life is filled with unpredictable events, making it unwise to postpone estate planning. Here's why waiting can pose significant risks:

  • Unexpected Incapacity: Accidents or illnesses can happen at any age. Without proper planning, important decisions about your finances and healthcare could be left to someone who may not know your wishes.
  • No Voice for Your Assets: Colorado's intestacy laws will determine how your assets are allocated if you pass away without a will or trust. This may not reflect your true intentions and could lead to unintended beneficiaries or family conflict.
  • Minor Children Without Guardians: Estate planning allows you to proactively choose guardians for minor children, ensuring their care and welfare align with your values in unforeseen circumstances.
  • Potential for Increased Stress and Expenses: Leaving decisions regarding your estate up to fate can lead to unnecessary court proceedings, family disputes, and higher expenses. A solid estate plan minimizes these possibilities.

Life Events That Spark the Need for Estate Planning

While everyone needs estate planning, certain life events provide urgent reminders to act sooner rather than later:

  • Turning 18: Congratulations, you're an adult! This means assuming full legal responsibility for yourself. Although having assets may not be top-of-mind, establishing basic documents like a financial power of attorney and a healthcare directive allows trusted individuals to act on your behalf if needed.
  • Marriage: Combining lives (and assets) creates new complexities that estate planning helps manage. Prenuptial agreements or updating existing estate plans protect both spouses and define future intentions.
  • Having Children: Every parent wants to provide for their children. Having an estate plan with designated guardians gives you control over their future well-being, regardless of unforeseen events.
  • Purchasing a Home: A significant asset like a home needs protecting. Estate planning helps ensure it passes to the people you intend, minimizes taxes, and avoids unnecessary complications.
  • Owning a Business: As your business grows, so does complexity. Estate plans ensure its continued operation or smooth transition, protecting your investment and employees.
  • Divorce: Estate plans often need to be dramatically restructured after a divorce to reflect your new circumstances accurately.
  • Receiving an Inheritance: If you're a beneficiary of an inheritance, a well-designed estate plan helps safeguard these assets and ensure their distribution according to your wishes.

Your Estate Plan is Living and Breathing

It's important to remember that your estate plan isn't a "set it and forget it" proposition. Life changes will often necessitate updates to ensure it remains current and effective. Consider reviewing your estate plan with a Johnson Law Group attorney after any of these events:

  • Significant changes in assets or debts
  • Birth of a child or grandchild
  • Death of a beneficiary or executor
  • Moving to a different state

Get Your Affairs in Order with Johnson Law Group

At Johnson Law Group, we believe everyone deserves a personalized estate plan that grants them peace of mind for the future. Don't delay protecting your legacy and your family's future. Our experienced Colorado estate planning attorneys provide personalized guidance, helping you confidently navigate this vital process.

Contact our team at Johnson Law Group today to begin crafting an estate plan that meets your particular needs, regardless of age or life stage. Call us at 720-445-4444 or schedule a FREE consultation today!

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Written by Family Law Attorney Myles S. Johnson
Divorce doesn’t have to be dramatic. For the litigants, losing your spouse is significant enough. But you can choose the way it affects your daily life. The only guarantee I can give is that the feeling that you have right now will not be the feeling you end with. This is a season in your life, and it must be approached that way.
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