Studies are done periodically that are intended to evaluate the estate planning preparedness of people in the United States. They consistently find that an alarming percentage of people are going through life without all of the appropriate estate planning documents.
While some older people are remiss, the majority of younger adults are unprepared. This is unfortunate, because estate planning is important for responsible adults of all ages. This is especially true for parents of young children.
If you are the parent of minor children, estate planning is an absolute must. What would happen to the children if both parents were to pass away together in an accident? Who would act as the guardian?
You can make your own choice when you create an estate plan. In your last will you could nominate a guardian. It is likely that the court would appoint the person that you nominate if a guardianship became necessary.
Most families depend on two incomes during our current era. When you plan your estate, you take steps to ensure the financial well-being of your family. If you have accumulated personal resources, that’s great, but there are other solutions.
Life insurance can be purchased, and you should be certain that you have sufficient coverage as your family grows.
When you are planning your estate you should also consider the period of time that may precede your death. Young people can fall victim to catastrophic illnesses, and accidents are common. To account for possible incapacity you should execute documents called advance directives for health care.
A number of years ago there was a highly publicized case involving a woman named Terri Schiavo. She fell into a vegetative state when she was in her 20s due to a cardiac event.
Schiavo was kept alive through the utilization of artificial nutrition and hydration for multiple years. She did not have advance directives in place.
Her husband eventually wanted the life-sustaining measures removed, but her parents disagreed. A protracted legal battle ensued.
This case is often utilized to underscore the value of an advance directive called a living will. With this type of will you state your wishes regarding the utilization of life-sustaining measures.
There is another advance directive that is recommended called a durable power of attorney for health care. Medical decisions can arise that are not specifically covered in the living will. With a durable power of attorney for health care, you empower someone to make health care decisions on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation.
Estate Planning Consultation
In this post we have spelled out a few of the basic reasons why estate planning is important for young adults, but there are others. If you would like to discuss things with a licensed estate planning attorney, contact us through this website to request a free consultation.