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Myth 3: “I’m too old to do estate planning.”

Reality: If you’re reading this, you’re probably[1] not dead, so there’s still time!

Some people mistakenly assume estate planning is solely financial planning for retirement. Of course it’s wise to start financial planning early in life and prepare for retirement many years ahead of time. However, estate planning includes far more than just financial planning. Estate planning is life planning, which includes making proper, well-planned provisions for the end of life.

It doesn’t take long to get your estate planning affairs in order—four to eight weeks is a good rule of thumb depending on your attorney’s schedule and how quickly you can complete your “homework” assignments. Even so, this is not a good reason to procrastinate, as one never knows when the storms of life will hit, and it might quickly become too late.

With the advancements of modern medicine, people are now living longer, which is a good thing, but this also means that there’s an ever-increasing need for us to plan for old age and its challenges. The Utah legislature passed a statutory form known as the Utah Advance Health Care Directive, a combination of a living will and a health care power of attorney. Utah residents are not required to use this form, but it is wise for them to do so.

It’s been my experience that as people enter their golden years, retirement and afterward, their focus most often turns more toward their legacy and their core values. While they’re naturally still concerned with ensuring they and their families have adequate financial resources, money and property tend to become less important and legacy planning becomes more important. Such individuals often search desperately for ways to preserve their life lessons and find an appropriate method of passing them on to the next generation. It’s for this reason that another vital function of proper estate planning is to assist people in capturing and preserving the things that are most important to them while at the same time protecting property for short- and long-term needs and objectives.

[1] Dead folks surely have better things to do than to read a book written by an estate planning attorney.☺