Estate Planning for Young Adults
Young people need estate plans too
Many younger adults don't think that they need an estate plan. They believe that because they have not acquired assets, property or retirement benefits, that estate planning is not necessary. Even for persons who have limited assets, estate planning is worth doing. Here are several important benefits derived from having an estate plan in place.
If you are attending college away from your parents' home, simple documents such as a Medical Power of Attorney and a Financial Power of Attorney are recommended. Imagine being ill and away from home, and the doctors will not provide any information to your loved ones as to your condition. A Medical Power of Attorney, not only would allow the doctors to communicate with your designated agent, but will also allow your agent to obtain medical records, get second opinions and assist in making medical decisions if you are unable to do so.
Similarly, a Financial Power of Attorney would allow your agent to address any financial issues that could crop up due to a medical illness, like paying the rent while you are recuperating or paying your medical insurance so that coverage does not lapse. The failure to have these two simple and inexpensive documents will require court intervention. Not only is this a time consuming and expensive process, it is easily avoidable if you have an estate plan in place.
If you are newly married and have children, you want to make sure that in the event of your spouse's untimely death, your spouse's assets, no matter how limited, go to you. In addition, if you have minor children and are unmarried, you can appoint a legal guardian for any children (a recommendation to the Court who you think is best suited to raise your children) in the event of your untimely death. Your Will would also establish how a guardian can use any of your remaining assets on their behalf. Finally, a Will would establish the ages when the children will be able to receive these assets.
Early Estate Planning avoids Guardianship
Effective estate planning allows you to avoid going through guardianship proceedings in the event your spouse becomes unexpectedly ill or disabled. It also contains the necessary legal documentation for handling all of your spouse's financial, legal, and medical issues.
Finally, if you have a child with special needs, a thorough estate plan is especially important. In that instance, you can make provisions for your child's special care over the course of his or her lifetime.