When you are a dependent child it is up to your parents to provide for you and make important decisions on your behalf. But when you become an adult and go out on your own, you have certain core responsibilities that go along with this stage of life. This is true when you are a self-supporting single adult, but your responsibilities grow when you become a parent in your own right and your own children are relying on you.
There are people out there who have the impression that estate planning does not apply to them because they are not old enough to be concerned about it. This type of thinking is extremely dangerous. You never know what the future holds, and we all hear about people dying long before their time. Others may unexpectedly become incapacitated at a young age as the well-publicized case of Terri Schiavo reminds us.
Every self-supporting adult should have an estate plan in place; in fact, estate planning options are probably going to be presented to you without your even seeking them out. Most people get their first exposure to estate planning when they are offered life insurance coverage as an employment benefit.
As a single person your life insurance would cover your final expenses, which could be considerable, with the remainder providing for anyone you see fit. But when you get married and have children, they may be relying on your income to maintain the family’s standard of living. At this point, life insurance becomes extraordinarily important.
Everyone should at least have a basic last will and advance health care directives in place as well. Estate planning is not just for elderly millionaires. It is for everyone, and if you do not currently have an estate plan in place now would be a good time to schedule an appointment with an experienced estate planning lawyer.