Estate Planning in Your 30s and 40s in Southeastern Massachusetts

young couple hugging after they created an estate plan by a window

Many people settle down in their 30s, and even 40s, start a family and begin thriving in their careers. Many young families are busy and have child-related expenses. Due to the high cost of obtaining a college degree or advanced degree, people in their thirties may still have student loans to pay. Creating an estate plan in your thirties may seem difficult and unnecessary. After all, you may feel like you’re still trying to tread water by paying off debt and paying your rent, mortgage, and other expenses. However, creating an estate plan in your thirties is crucial to protect yourself and your loved ones. Estate planning in your 30s and 40s will help you protect the assets you are working so hard to build. 

When you’re in your thirties, it’s wise to engage in financial planning and speak with an estate planning lawyer. It may seem like your retirement is a long way off, but time moves incredibly quickly. Your future self will thank you for beginning to create an estate plan and financial plan in your 30s so you will have enough assets to live comfortably during retirement.

Protect Your Retirement Savings

The best time to start saving for retirement is in your twenties, but many people cannot contribute significantly to their savings in their 20s. When you’re in your thirties, there are several ways for you to take your retirement savings seriously. The earlier you contribute money into your retirement savings, the more your investment will increase over time. If possible, maximize your contributions to your 401(k) every year. Doing so is critically important.

Many employers offer their employees a match for their 401(k) contributions. At the very least, try to contribute enough to your 401k to receive the full match amount. Retirement savings accounts offered by your employer are one of the best ways to save for retirement. If you’ve switched jobs several times, keep track of all of your retirement accounts, and don’t ignore the money in them as it will be critical to your retirement savings. We also recommend trying to max out your contributions to a Roth IRA.

Ensure your family members know how they can claim the funds in your 401k, IRA, and brokerage accounts. They need to know where to locate these important documents. If there are missing or incomplete forms, or if you haven’t named your surviving spouse or children as beneficiaries, your loved ones could be delayed in obtaining the assets or could be denied the assets altogether.

Estate Planning With Minor Children in Your 30s and 40s

Parents sitting with children and estate planning attorney

More American women are choosing to have babies in their thirties instead of their twenties. If you are one of the many American families who began having children in your thirties, estate planning is necessary to protect your children. An essential part of your estate plan involves selecting a guardian for your children in case you pass away. Selecting a guardian is especially important if you are a single parent. If you don’t select a guardian, the court could decide for you and select someone you don’t trust. You can avoid leaving this critical decision in the hands of someone you don’t know by consulting with one of our estate planning lawyers.

We also recommend that you create a comprehensive estate plan that will ensure your children receive all of your assets. When you meet with our estate planning team, we will help you determine whether a will-based estate plan or a trust-based estate plan works best for you. If you create a trust-based estate plan, you can appoint a trustee to manage your assets on behalf of your children until they become adults. Your children will automatically have access to your assets without going through the probate process when you create a trust.

Estate Planning for Business Owners In Their 30s and 40s

business woman

More people than ever are starting small businesses. If you have started a business in your thirties and forties, an estate plan can help your business and family survive if you become incapacitated or pass away. Two important questions that you may be asked are:

  • What would happen to your business if you were unable to run your business anymore?
  • Who do you trust to run your business and preserve your brand’s integrity if you cannot run your business?

These are important questions that an estate planning lawyer can help you answer and address. What will happen to your business if you become incapacitated or pass away depends on your business structure. If you’re a sole proprietor, your company will die with you. If you choose another business structure, you can create a trust that will allow you to keep your business going if you become incapacitated or pass away. 

Creating an estate plan is especially important if you and your spouse only have one source of income through your business. We can help you protect your surviving spouse through a life insurance trust and other strategies. Our estate planning lawyers can also help you develop a transition plan if you would like your business to continue operating.

Ensure Your Wishes Are Carried Out With an Estate Plan

Having the appropriate estate planning documents in place will ensure that your wishes and beliefs are respected. If you become incapacitated, who will make healthcare and financial decisions on your behalf? Our estate planning lawyers can help you complete the necessary documents, allowing you to select a healthcare power of attorney and durable power of attorney you trust to make decisions for you on your behalf. 

If You Are in Your 30s and 40s, Contact a Southeastern Massachusetts Estate Planning Lawyer 

Thinking about the possibility of becoming incapacitated is challenging when you’re in your thirties and have just started a family. However, taking the time to set forth your wishes and get your affairs in order now will give you and your family a strong sense of relief that your loved ones and assets will be protected. If you have questions about estate planning, we can help. Contact the estate planning lawyers at Surprenant & Beneski, PC today to discuss creating an estate plan.