Anyone who has been successful knows the importance of long term planning, and this process begins with identifying what you would like to accomplish in the future. Once you set those goals you work every day toward achieving them, and this goal setting has a very profound impact on the decisions that you make along the way. For instance, if you decide that you would like to retire early you may well make different choices throughout your life then you would if your plan was to retire at the typical retirement age. If you own a business that you plan on selling when you retire, you may choose to invent less into it as your working days are winding down than you would if you planned on passing it on to the next generation.
Estate planning is often times looked at as a way of distributing assets after they have been accumulated. You reach the age when your legacy starts to come into focus, you take stock of what you have, and set about the task of creating a plan for distributing it upon your passing. This is one way to do it, but you can also take a different approach and “work backwards,” as it were. Rather than letting the chips fall as they may and doing what you can when the time comes, you may want to identify what you would like to accomplish with your estate and work toward achieving those goals throughout your life.
We are all impacted by the way that our extended families grow over the years, and you may recognize certain needs that you may be in a position to address with your estate. That is, if you plan ahead and make choices that support these goals. The sooner you know what you would like to be able to do for your family the better, because the decisions that you make in the present will impact your capabilities in the future.
So estate planning is not just an “after the fact” endeavor. It is something that should be considered every step of the way.
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