It's easy to think that only older folks need to think about estate planning. Younger adults think they have decades in front of them before health concerns, disabilities or death threaten their families. It's true the elderly need to ensure their estate planning is in place, but planning should also take priority for those individuals who are young and healthy.
None of us want to think that something could happen to us when we are young, vibrant and full of life. But accidents happen, even to young families. Remember, estate planning isn't just for end of life needs, it also takes care of designating someone to make financial and healthcare decisions should you be unable to do so. For a young family with children, an estate plan also makes a provision for a guardian for your children.
If you die without an estate plan, your state has one for you, it's called “intestate succession.” If you're unmarried the statute would typically result in everything going to your parents and siblings. Unless you have an estate plan, you have no say over which member of your family gets your assets or has control. Maybe you would prefer that some of your assets go to a charity, or be divided specifically between family members. An estate plan can allow for such choices. If you have a blended family or a second marriage, estate planning is incredibly important. The same is true if you have children or step-children. These nuances can't be left to assumption. It's important that you plan so that your wishes can be carried out when the time comes.
As a young adult, you may not be likely to die suddenly, but remember … accidents happen and most accidents are fatal. If you should find yourself disabled due to an accident, you could be in need of a financial or healthcare power of attorney to aid in your care. In your estate plan, you can spell out who you want to make medical decisions for you if you're not able to make them for yourself. Maybe you want your mother or father or a brother or sister to make those decisions. But, if you create an estate plan, you get to decide. Similarly, you can voice your opinion about end-of-life decisions. Again, you can choose your own path. Another part of an estate plan is a financial power of attorney, which allows someone to make financial decisions for your assets while you are alive.
You're an adult now and you get to decide. Whatever you decide, it's your estate plan and you can choose whomever you want to make decisions for you and whomever you want to get your assets upon your death. Whatever you decide, you'll have peace of mind knowing you've planned ahead for any eventuality.
Schedule a complimentary consultation to consider what estate planning might mean for you and your family. Our team is here to help you each step of the way. We listen to what your goals are and what you want. Then, we put the documents in place to support your goals. Want to learn more?