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When Should You Start Thinking About Estate Planning?

MP900387776If you own anything that you would like to have distributed to someone else, you need a will. Anyone over the age of 18 should also have estate planning documents, like a Power of Attorney and Medical Power of Attorney. These are needed because life happens, at any age.

Young adults typically think that they don’t need a will or an estate plan, until they have accumulated assets or have children, but that’s not necessarily true. According to The Cleveland Jewish News in the recent article “Younger generations should focus on estate planning, too,”  an estate plan is not only for older people or the ultra-wealthy.

Many younger adults have been financially successful and also have experienced changes with marriage and families.

A young married couple should talk about their vision and goals for their legal affairs, in case something happens to one of them or within their family.

Estate plans provide some certainty into an otherwise uncertain life. There are many reasons to start early. One reason is that you never know what’s going to happen. You want to make certain that all of your assets are in place.

When creating an estate plan, there are a few things that younger people should consider, such as making sure all their accounts have named a beneficiary. This includes life insurance, retirement, and checking and savings accounts. These beneficiaries need to be updated for life and family changes.

Many youngers adults will be fine with a will and a health care power of attorney. However, marriage is a time when people have more complexity in their professional lives. This can include starting a business, becoming leaders at companies, and needing more complex and protective plans.

While younger generations are known to be independent and to try to meet all their needs online, estate plans should be treated differently. There are numerous online tools or ‘do-it-yourself’ strategies, but professional legal assistance can make it an easier and a more thorough process.

By starting these preparations early in your adult life, you’ll learn about how estate planning works to protect you and your family. When your life becomes more complex, your estate plan will reflect these changes. Think of it as a means of protecting yourself while you are living and protecting your family and loved ones, after you have passed.

Reference: Cleveland Jewish News (September 19, 2019) “Younger generations should focus on estate planning, too”