Estate Planning: Is It Ever Too Early?

Like life insurance, estate planning can be a difficult topic. We tend to think of it within the context of loss, and so we put it off. Or, we tell ourselves it’s “too early.” Maybe you fall into both of those categories. 

Let’s start here: You’re not too young to plan your estate. 

Estate planning isn’t a task to be postponed until you’re near the end of your life. Even if you are young and spry, there’s a sense of confidence that comes with knowing your assets are designed to be protected—no matter what happens.

Why You Should Start Early

You may already know exactly why you should start planning early but just haven’t gotten around to it yet. If you’re a skeptic or just haven’t put much thought into the matter yet, we have a few points for you to consider. 

There are plenty of reasons to start estate planning early. Some of those reasons might be: 

  • Control your assets. This is the most obvious reason to get your affairs in order. If you have valuable assets—even if that means a prized antique or a vacation home—you want to be sure those pass along to the intended people. No matter if you’ve made verbal statements about where your assets should go and how they should be handled, the effort falls flat until it’s in writing.
  • Reduce your family’s tax burden. You can save your family the stresses that come along with taxes associated with their inheritance. Professionals can help you arrange your assets in a way that can help to save your family a great deal of money, while also helping them maximize the money you’ve left behind.
  • Alleviate family stress and disagreements. You’ve likely seen families argue over inheritance assets. At the very least, you’ve seen it in half a dozen movies and television shows. Everyone has their own idea of how money should be shared (or not shared at all). So, if an estate plan isn’t in place, the only thing left to do is argue, especially in the wake of grief and elevated emotions. Documenting exactly how your heirs should divide your assets, as clearly as possible, will help avoid that classic family drama.

You might be thinking, But, I’m only [insert an age you consider to be very young]. You probably aren’t directing this at my age group.

When we say it’s never too early, we mean it. If you’re an adult—even a very young adult—you have decisions that you may want to make for yourself, even in death. We hope you live an incredibly long life. However, we know that sometimes our lives don’t follow the plans we’ve made, and we want you to be prepared for anything. 

It’s Also Never Too Late

As we talk about the importance of early estate planning, don’t be mistaken. If you haven’t planned your estate yet, that’s okay. This process is something you should begin as soon as you can, but many people wait until later in life to make these arrangements. There’s no shame in that. Just be sure to contact your financial advisor as soon as you can to get the ball rolling! 

How Your Financial Advisor Can Help

Plenty of articles floating around the Internet will give you the “easy” steps to estate planning. While those are valuable, they provide a very high-level view of a process that is quite complex. Your financial advisor can take into account your long-term goals to create a personalized, comprehensive estate plan. 

An advisor serves as your trusted partner. They can answer the tough questions and do what’s in the best interest of you and your family. 

Don’t let estate planning intimidate you, no matter how old you are. 

Contact Southwestern Investment Group today to get started. 

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Jeffrey T. Dobyns


President, SageSpring | Financial Advisor, RJFS 

Jeffrey T. Dobyns

President, SageSpring | Financial Advisor, RJFS

Beyond crunching numbers and investment strategies, at SageSpring, we’re about building relationships. When you encounter Founder & President of SageSpring, Jeff Dobyns, it’s easy to understand why this is at the very heart of who we are as a firm. You won’t find stuffy formalities with Jeff; instead, you can expect to find him sharing a warm smile, communicating a compelling vision, or patiently untangling life’s complex challenges with clients. He believes in truly getting to know clients, understanding their aspirations and priorities, and navigating their financial plans with a tailored, comprehensive approach. Our team members have often been caught taking notes on Jeff’s effortless relationship skills from a distance, and we admire them for striving to learn from one of the best. 

Jeff’s financial expertise and wisdom are the perfect match to his innate people skills. Jeff holds the prestigious CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification, Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®), and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChLU®) designations, and has held executive positions with financial planning firms for more than two decades. 

His dedication extends beyond the office to the boardroom and the local community, where Jeff is passionate about giving back. He serves as Chairman of the Board of Men of Valor, a prison ministry and mentoring program. Jeff also serves on the board of Send Musicians to Prison, which shares hope, healing and restoration with the imprisoned through musicians & artists. Jeff actively supports other initiatives in the community by sitting on the board of The Signatry of Middle Tennessee and the Halftime Institute of Nashville. 

Witnessing his four children, Gracyn, Hunter, Tanner, and Logan, excel on the field is almost just as rewarding, if not more, than celebrating the victories of seeing his clients overcome obstacles and build wealth. Spending weekends boating on the lake, hiking mountain trails, and fishing with his family are the moments Jeff cherishes most. It’s this grounded perspective that reveals the true meaning of wealth for Jeff: not just numbers on a page, but the freedom to create experiences that enrich your life and the lives of those you love. When you choose the Dobyns McMillin Wealth Team, you choose more than financial expertise. You choose a partner who champions your dreams, celebrates your victories, and walks besides you on the path to achieving your unique goals.

**Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER TM, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.