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Trust and Estates Attorneys

When to Start DC Estate Planning Process

Estate planning in DC can be a long process, often times because circumstances in a person’s life are always changing and they must make adjustments to their estate as a result. A common misnomer is that you need to have significant wealth to merit the creation of a plan. Estate plans can be useful tools at any time in your adult life. Most adults would benefit from even a simple estate plan. An individual is never too young to begin estate planning. It is important to plan for your future at any age, especially to include a plan for incapacity. To begin the process, call and schedule a consultation with a DC estate planning lawyer today.

First Steps in DC Estate Planning Process

It’s typical for couples to visit an attorney when they are recently married, contemplating getting married, buying a house, or are expecting their first child. However, unmarried adults or adults without children may benefit from an estate plan.

It is important to consult with a DC estate planning attorney who can help tailor a plan to a person’s assets and family dynamic. For example, a lot of younger professionals starting off their careers believe they do not have assets significant enough to require the creation of an estate plan. However, everyone can benefit from planning for incapacity regardless of the size of their estate or net worth. Planning for the distribution of your assets in the event you pass away can help minimize estate administration expenses or the expenses of having to get a guardianship.

In addition, any possessions would be left to the beneficiaries that a person named. For example, if someone had an estranged sister or an estranged parent, they may want to avoid them inheriting from their estate. The person can do that by creating a last will and testament.

Minimizing Hassle & Complications by Starting Early

The most important issue that early preparation can minimize is creating a plan that names someone to act on your behalf to make financial and medical decisions in the event that you become incapacitated. Creating a last will and testament to name a Personal Representative and disclose your wishes for the distribution of your assets at your death helps to ensure a more streamlined estate administration process.

When to Begin DC Estate Planning For Newlyweds

One of the first steps that newlyweds should take is to determine their estate planning needs. The best way to do that is to speak to a DC estate planning attorney. It’s important to meet with an estate planner to discuss the assets a person held individually prior to their marriage, the assets they inherited prior to their marriage, and the assets they anticipate inheriting throughout the course of marriage.

Some newlyweds start before they get married with a pre-nuptial agreement. A DC estate planning lawyer reviews the pre-nuptial agreement to create a plan that accommodates the pre-nuptial agreement.

If One Spouse Began Process Before Marriage

It’s not uncommon for individuals to come in to a marriage with estate plans already in place. A newly married individual may wish to make sure they update their estate plan to provide for the new spouse and their children. Reviewing an existing estate plan or creating new coordinated estate plans for the married couple are just a few ways that a DC estate planning attorney can be of assistance.