Historically, Louisiana residents in their 30s would be looking into starting their estate plans. By their 50s, it would just need yearly maintenance. However, studies show that middle-aged adults aren’t creating estate plans at that age.
Less than 23 percent of people aged 35 to 54 will have an estate plan. People who are in their 50s are more likely to have an estate plan than their younger counterparts – but only 60 percent of people above the age of 55 reported starting their estate planning.
Importance of estate planning for middle-aged adults
Your estate plan ensures that all your assets will be passed to your loved ones after your death. It can cause a lot of stress on surviving family members to figure out an estate without a will and even cause costly hold-ups in probate court.
If you have children, your first priority should be ensuring they’ll be cared for. This could mean appointing legal guardians in the worst-case scenario for minor children. For adult children, it might mean ensuring there’s enough set aside to handle estate taxes and funeral expenses.
What things should be in your estate plan?
The most important item in an estate plan for many is a will. This document describes your wishes and provides an outline of what’s in your estate.
You should also include advance directives and power of attorney instructions. Your power of attorney will make decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated, and advanced directives will address your wishes regarding end-of-life care.
If you want to have more control over your estate planning, you might opt for a trust or similar tool. Professionals can advise you on different estate planning tools, but ultimately how you create your estate plan will depend entirely on your family’s needs.