Berge & Berge, LLP Blog

Friday, July 6, 2018

Housing Market and Fertility Rates May Impact Bay Area Estate Planning

Q: Is the housing market impacting Bay Area estate planning?

Many people don't realize that once they turn 18, they need an estate plan. This is true because tragedy can strike at any age and because a comprehensive estate plan includes more than just a last will and testament disposing of your property upon death. It also includes documents to provide for your incapacity prior to dying.

Everyone over the age of majority should designate someone to handle their financial and medical affairs in the event they become incapacitated and are unable to do so themselves. This can be the result of an unforeseen injury or accident, a disease or other medical condition. Unfortunately, some people figure they’ll wait until they start a family before having an estate plan drafted.

But what happens if family planning is delayed?

According to a recent study by the real estate website Zillow, “many Bay Area women may be putting motherhood on hold at least partly because of the region’s housing market".

No house, no baby? No baby, no will?

The dropping fertility rate is a concern as more young people, often faced with large student debt, are unable to follow the dream of homeownership and parenthood that their parents’ generation enjoyed. They may feel that without an asset like a home or without a child, that an estate plan is not necessary. But as previously noted, everyone over the age of 18 can benefit from a comprehensive estate plan and waiting can have disastrous consequences.

An estate plan is not something you create once and forget, but rather it requires modification periodically as your life circumstances change. Things like marriages and divorces, births and deaths, and business arrangements will impact an existing estate plan. It’s best to come in early and establish that life-long relationship with your estate planning attorney while you’re young.

At the Law Offices of Berge & Berge, our LifePlan™ Program is an exclusive, optional, and popular concierge service that allows our estate planning clients to periodically update their estate planning documents yearly for a low premium.

If you are in need of an initial estate plan, or would like to modify an existing estate plan, the trust and estate planning specialists at the Law Office of Berge & Berge can help you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

From our office in San Jose, California, we’ve been proudly serving the South Bay area for over 25 years in all aspects of estate planning.

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