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When should you create an estate plan?

It can be difficult to justify the financial and emotional costs of estate planning under the age of thirty. It may be difficult to know what you want, the options available to you or just where to start.

There can be several significant benefits to starting this process while you are young instead of waiting until you receive your AARP card in the mail or until you have significant assets. However, there is also wisdom regarding your assets that comes with experience and time.

Where can you start?

It is important to have the correct legal documents to plan your estate, especially in two situations. If you are starting when you are young and do not plan to change the documents for a few years, or if you are older or in ill health and need it to be correct for use at any time. A handwritten note left in a security box or a dresser is not an acceptable legal document in Iowa.

If you are unsure where to start, consider the following resources:

  • Free online legal tools that an estate planner can incorporate into a living will or trust
  • Investment blogs from financial institutions and memberships to retirement associations can be regular sources of information and other trusted resources. These can also help you stay up to date on the latest tax codes.
  • Research the Green Burial Council to explore your options to minimize your funeral's potential environmental impact

What are specific steps you can take?

After carefully considering your wishes, it is important to move forward to establish a legally valid plan.

  • Be sure that the beneficiaries indicated on your various financial or legal documents indicate your current wishes and do not conflict with each other.
  • According to InvestmentNews, a young person should at least have a financial and medical power of attorney.
  • Visit with a financial advisor from an independent financial institution
  • Visit with an estate planner that provides a free consultation or low-pressure initial consultation. They may know the best options for your situation.

Estate planning can begin at any age at any time and starting early can help your family prepare for unexpected situations. You can also have the peace of mind of having a preliminary plan in place while you gather more knowledge about taxes and long-term financial planning.

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Janssen Law, PLC
700 Second Ave.
Suite 103
Des Moines, IA 50309-1712

Phone: 515-421-9068
Fax: 515-274-1364
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