Many people in their 20s and 30s mistakenly think that estate planning is just for rich, older adults that are trying to figure out how to divide up their assets before they pass away. However, this is not the case. Estate plans are essential for everyone, regardless of age or financial status.
Younger adults may be more focused on their careers and families than they are on death, but the sooner a person starts preparing for the unexpected, the better off they will be. Experts suggest having a few key documents in your estate plan to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of in the event of your untimely death or incapacitation.
First, you should make sure that you have a durable power of attorney to allow a trusted person to make financial decisions on your behalf, and a health care proxy to assign someone to be in charge of your medical decisions, should you become incapacitated. You should also have a living will, specifying your general medical wishes if you ever have a terminal illness.
The most important part of your estate plan will most likely be your will, as it will specify how you want your assets to be distributed. If you have children under the age of 18, you can use the will to appoint a guardian for them. You also have the option of creating a revocable trust, essentially allowing you as the grantor to continue to manage any property within the trust during your lifetime. When you die, a successor trustee will distribute the trust property to named beneficiaries.
Creating an estate plan is never easy, no matter how old you are. Consulting with an attorney can be very helpful throughout the estate planning process.