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Far more to estate planning than cross-generational asset transfers

A chart appearing in a recent study focused upon estate planning reveals a clear trajectory regarding Americans' progressive appreciation of key planning considerations as they get older, coupled with their increased willingness to proactively embrace estate planning.

Facially, the evidence is clear: Whereas, only about one in five individuals in the 18-36 age demographic have executed a will or trust, more than 80% of Americans aged 72 or older have done so.

That isn't exactly shocking news, is it? And it certainly underscores the reality that ever-increasing numbers of people across the country, including in California, feel the urge to set forth important matters in formal legal documents as they get older.

More mature individuals and couples generally have more money and assets than do younger people, of course, so the above numbers reflecting their increased engagement in planning are hardly surprising. Wills and trusts are often centrally focused upon assets and their transfer to future generations, and older people will typically be the demographic most concerned with that.

As a recent article on planning points out, though, focusing upon and executing an estate plan is often about far more than wealth transfer alone.

"You don't need to be wealthy to establish a trust," notes that article, "and you certainly don't need to be wealthy to create a will."

In fact, there is often a compelling need for young people to earnestly turn to estate planning and take steps to safeguard some very important treasures.

A proven planning attorney can -- and often does -- point out to young parents the obvious importance of naming a trusted adult to serve as guardian for children in the event that unforeseen circumstances make that an imperative.

That attorney can speak to many other matters that can also be addressed through prudent planning, regardless of wealth-related considerations.

Candidly, estate planning is egalitarian in nature in that it is applicable to individuals and families of all types and dimensions. An experienced and client-empathetic planning attorney can provide further information.

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