They say that the only two certainties in life are death and taxes, and most people are fully prepared when April 15th rolls around. However, when it comes to the other one, statistics tell a surprising tale. The majority of American adults have no estate planning documents in place, and as you might imagine, a small percentage of younger people have executed estate plans.
For a single young adult with no children and limited resources, this is somewhat understandable. However, someone in this category should certainly have advance directives for health care. Life-support preferences can be recorded in a living will, and a health care decision maker can be empowered in a durable power of attorney.
That being said, estate planning is often more important for younger people than it is for their older counterparts. When people are in their 50s or older, their children are typically grown and self-sufficient. They are not depending on their parents for their survival.
Things are entirely different when it comes to the dependent children of young adults. Clearly, people of all ages pass away in accidents every day, and catastrophic illnesses can take the lives of younger people. In addition to the plight of the children, most young families depend on two incomes to maintain a reasonable standard of living.
You should certainly take action to make sure that your loved ones are properly provided for if the unthinkable were to take place. When it comes to income replacement, life insurance is always available. Term life insurance can be a good choice for people who want to have a safety net in place.
This type of coverage does not accumulate any cash value, but it is quite affordable. When you take out a term life policy, the premiums are based on your age. For example, you may pay a certain fixed amount for coverage for a ten-year span. At the end this time, you would have the option of purchasing term life insurance for the next 10 years at a somewhat higher premium.
As we mentioned previously, advance directives for health care should be executed as well. When you have a living will in place, your loved ones will understand your choices and the medical community would be required to honor them.
Another matter that is extremely important for younger parents is guardianship. In some cases, parents pass away together in accidents. And of course, there are many single parents of dependent children.
If you do not construct an estate plan that includes the choice of a guardian for your children, the state would be forced to make a decision if it ever becomes necessary. The individual the court chooses may not be the person that you would have picked.
Plus, well-meaning relatives can disagree over the right choice of guardian. This can cause hard feelings among individuals who should be pulling together to support one another during a very difficult time.
When you name a guardian in your estate plan, the court would honor your wishes unless there was some reason why the judge thought that it was not in the best interests of the children.
Attend a Free Seminar
Since you are on this website, you must be interested in obtaining information about estate planning and elder law topics. We have some great written resources that are available to you, and we update this blog often. However, there is really no substitute for an in-person interaction with a licensed estate planning attorney.
Our firm holds frequent seminars, and you can walk away with a great deal of useful information under your belt if you attend one of these sessions. There is no charge at all, but we do ask that you register in advance so that we can reserve your seat. To get all the details, visit our seminar page and click on the date that works for you.
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If you are ready to take direct action, our doors are open. You can use the contact form on this website to request a consultation appointment, and we can also be reached by phone at 704-944-3245 in North Carolina (Charlotte, NC and Huntersville, NC) and 606-324-5516 in Ashland, Kentucky or (859) 372-6655 in Florence, Kentucky.