I’m young. I’m healthy. Do I really need an estate plan?
Everyone can benefit from an estate plan, even younger people without significant assets.
Younger generations have been stereotyped in numerous respects. If you are in your 20s or early 30s, you may have been describes as tech-savvy, efficient, creative and money-conscious. If you are like other people under 40, you are also feeling worried about your financial future.
Many millennials are burdened with high student loans and have often delayed marriage, starting a family and buying a home. If any of this describes you, it is understandable if estate planning is not be the first thing on your mind. But contrary to popular belief, estate planning is for everyone, not just older and wealthier individuals.
Everyone needs an estate plan
Regardless of your income, age or family status, you can benefit from an estate plan. This is as true for younger families and individuals as it is for people at or near retirement age. Even if you have significant student loans and do not own a home, estate planning is still a wise financial endeavor. Just because you do not have a large amount of assets does not mean your loved ones, including friends and family, will not benefit by your estate plan.
The benefits of having an estate plan in place early
Even if you do not have the assets to create a trust for grandchildren to attend college, there are significant reasons to make an estate plan part of your long-term financial plan. These reasons include:
- Having a medical plan in place can ease the burden on friends and family if something should happen to you
- Having a trusted individual to manage your financial affairs if you can no longer do so
- Knowing that your personal possessions, especially those of sentimental value, will go to where they will be most appreciated
- If you have close friends, providing for them if something should happen to you (this will not happen under state law)
- Ensuring that your children will be taken care of, including not receiving the benefits of your life insurance policy until they are ready
- Setting up a guardianship or conservatorship for a child with special needs
- Accounting for future changes in life circumstances, such as getting a new job with higher income, obtaining your own inheritance, and future life events like marriage and having children
Perhaps most importantly, a comprehensive estate plan can avoid conflict among family members and friends.
Creating wills, trusts and powers of attorney are worth the effort
While no one particularly likes thinking about medical illness or tragic accidents, having an estate plan in place is part of your overall long-term financial plan. Like 401(k)s, life insurance and other financial tools, an estate plan is relatively easy to accomplish, and the benefits of having one if needed far outweigh the initial costs of setup.
An experienced estate planning attorney can help
If you have questions on the benefits an estate plan can provide for you and your family, contact The Mead Law Firm to discuss the options available to you.