Many people neglect to make an estate plan. They often do this because they think it’s something that they should address later on in their life. They essentially believe they’re too young to need an estate plan and that it is something they can set up when they get older.
But the reality is that everyone needs an estate plan, no matter how old they are. As long as they are 18 years old or older, there are always beneficial tools they can use. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Without one, the law decides
First and foremost, without an estate plan, the state law is going to decide what happens to a person’s assets. These assets may simply be transferred down to the next generation or the person’s spouse. They don’t get nearly as much say in which beneficiaries they select or how assets are distributed.
It’s about more than money
Another thing to remember is that estate planning is about far more than money or dividing assets. For example, young parents can use an estate plan to choose a guardian for their child. This could be highly beneficial when they are in their 20s or 30s, in case something unexpected happens.
Making medical decisions
Finally, estate plans can be used to make medical decisions in advance. An example of this is using a living will or an advance directive to indicate the type of care that a person wants or does not want to receive. Another example is using a medical power of attorney to choose an agent to make those medical decisions if the person becomes incapacitated.
As you can see, there are benefits to estate planning at many different ages. It’s important for people to know what steps they can take and what tools they can use.