When you’re young and just starting out in life, estate planning is probably the last thing on your mind. You may not even think you need an estate plan if you don’t have a lot of assets or dependents. But the truth is, estate planning is important for everyone, regardless of age or financial status.
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the process of creating a plan for how your assets will be distributed after you die. This can include everything from your bank accounts and investments to your home and personal possessions. It also involves deciding who will be able to make medical and financial decisions for you if you become incapacitated and are unable to make them for yourself.
Why is Estate Planning Important for Young Adults?
Many young adults don’t think they need an estate plan because they don’t have a lot of assets or dependents. However, there are several reasons why estate planning is important for young adults:
- Incapacity Planning: Even if you don’t have a lot of assets, it’s important to have a plan in place for who will make medical and financial decisions for you if you become incapacitated. This includes appointing a trusted agent to make healthcare and financial decisions on your behalf.
- Protecting Your Assets: Even if you don’t have a lot of assets now, you may accumulate them over time. By creating an estate plan today, you can ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and that your loved ones are taken care of after you’re gone even if you forget to make a plan later.
- Naming a Guardian for Your Children: If you have children, it’s important to have a plan in place for who will take care of them if you’re no longer able to. By naming a guardian in your estate plan, you can ensure that your children are taken care of by someone you trust.
How to Get Started with Estate Planning
If you’re ready to start estate planning, here are some steps you can take:
- Identify Your Goals: Before you start creating your estate plan, it’s important to identify your goals. What do you want to happen to your assets after you die? Who do you want to make medical and financial decisions for you if you become incapacitated? Answering these questions will help you create a plan that reflects your wishes.
- Consult with an Estate Planning Attorney: It’s important to work with an estate planning attorney to create your will. They can help ensure that your will is legally binding and reflects your wishes. An estate planning attorney can also advise you on other estate planning tools that can help accomplish your goals. If you cannot afford an attorney, it’s best to not try and DIY a will. Dying intestate is hardly the end of the world. But, do fill out power of attorney documents which are usually available for free from your state’s agencies.
- Appoint Agents to Act in Your Stead: A power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone the authority to make medical and financial decisions for you if you become incapacitated. It’s important to appoint people you trust to act as your financial and healthcare agents.
- Consider a Living Will: A living will is a legal document that outlines your wishes for end-of-life medical care. It’s important to have a living will in place to ensure that your wishes are respected if you’re unable to make medical decisions for yourself.
- Review and Update Your Plan: Your estate plan should be reviewed and updated periodically to ensure that it still reflects your wishes. If your circumstances change, such as if you have children or acquire significant assets, you should update your estate plan accordingly.
In conclusion, estate planning is a crucial aspect of life for young adults, regardless of their current assets or dependents. It ensures that your wishes are respected, your loved ones are protected, and your future is secure. As you embark on this important journey, Copper State Planning is here to offer guidance and assistance. Our experienced team can help you navigate the estate planning process, from identifying your goals to creating legally binding documents. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for any support you may need in creating a comprehensive estate plan tailored to your unique circumstances. Call Copper State Planning today and take control of your future.