If you are a younger adult, you may feel as though you will always have time to plan your estate at a later date. This is understandable to some extent, but estate planning is essential for adults of all ages.
You never know what the future holds, and you should be prepared every step of the way. Childless adults should have a plan in place, but estate planning is absolutely essential for people who have dependent children still in the home.
When you plan your estate as the parent of a minor child, you should make sure that there is a financial underpinning in place that the family could draw from in the event of your passing. You should have sufficient life insurance, and you should evaluate the financial needs of your family on an ongoing basis and increase your coverage if necessary.
There is also the matter of guardianship. If both parents were to pass away in an accident, who would care for the children? The state would answer this question if you take no steps in advance to prepare for this contingency.
When you plan your estate, you could nominate a guardian. It is very likely that the court would honor this nomination if a guardianship were to become necessary.
The children of senior citizens are going to be adults in their own right, and they are probably going to be self-supporting. Though estate planning is important for everyone, it could be argued that it is even more important for younger adults who have minor children.
A comprehensive estate plan will include an incapacity planning component. Unfortunately, younger people do become incapacitated due to catastrophic illnesses and injury accidents.
Your incapacity plan should include a living will. With this document you state your wishes regarding the use of life sustaining measures such as feeding tubes, artificial hydration, and mechanical respiration.
The case of Terri Schiavo is instructive. She was in her twenties when she fell into a vegetative state after suffering full cardiac arrest. She did not have a living will in place, and as a result, there was a great deal of acrimony among some of her family members.
You could also create a durable power of attorney to name a representative to act on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation.
Schedule a Free Estate Planning Consultation
If you are going through life without an estate plan, action is required. Our firm offers free consultations to people here in the greater Charlotte area, and you can send us a message through this link to set up an appointment: Charlotte NC Estate Planning Attorney.