You have probably heard people talk about how it’s never too early to do your estate planning. You don’t have to put it off until you retire. Even if you’re in your early 20s, it wouldn’t hurt to get an estate plan in place. After all, accidents take lives every day. You can’t count on surviving into your 60s or 70s, when people traditionally start thinking about estate planning.
On one hand, it’s not. You can always write a will. Don’t think you “missed the window” or put it off for too long. If you want more control over your assets and your estate, you can do that planning no matter how old you are or how long you have gone without a proper plan.
That said, there are times when it’s realistically too late. If you don’t have one when you pass away, your estate goes into probate.
In a practical sense, it could also be too late if you come down with a degenerative brain disorder, suffer an injury or have an illness that makes planning impossible. Drafting a will after being diagnosed with dementia may cause your heirs to challenge the will, for instance. After suffering a brain injury in a fall, a car accident or because of a stroke, you may not be able to make these crucial legal decisions on your own.
This is why it’s important to make estate planning a priority and talk with an experienced attorney rather than putting it off.