Estate planning is an important step for anyone, regardless of age. However, it can be especially important for young adults to start thinking about it early on. Estate planning allows you to make decisions about what will happen to your assets, property, and dependents in the event of your death or incapacitation. It can also help you plan for future financial security and ensure that your wishes are carried out.
Why Young Adults Avoid Estate Planning
Young adults may avoid estate planning for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common reasons include:
- Lack of awareness: Many young adults may not be aware of the importance of estate planning or may not understand what it entails. They may not realize that estate planning is not just for older adults or the wealthy, but is something that everyone should consider.
- Denial: Some young adults may think that they are too young to worry about estate planning and that it’s something they can deal with later in life. They may believe that they are invincible and that they will never become incapacitated or die.
- Cost: Estate planning can involve legal and financial fees, which can be a deterrent for young adults who may not have a lot of money to spare.
- Complexity: The legal and financial aspects of estate planning can be confusing and overwhelming, and young adults may not know where to start or who to turn to for help.
- Personal priorities: Young adults are often focused on building their careers, starting families, and establishing themselves financially, and they may not see estate planning as a priority.
- Privacy concerns: Some young adults may worry about the intrusion of planning for the future and death.
It’s important for young adults to understand that estate planning is not just about death and taxes, but also about protecting themselves and their loved ones in case of incapacitation. Additionally, it’s more economical to plan for the future than deal with an emergency. An estate plan can help young adults take control of their financial and personal affairs, and ensure that their wishes are carried out in case something unexpected happens.
Considerations for Estate Planning for Young Adults
Here are a few things to consider when it comes to estate planning for young adults:
- Make a will: A will is a legally binding document that specifies how you want your assets to be distributed after your death. It can also name a guardian for any minor children. Without a will, state laws determine how your assets are distributed, which may not align with your wishes.
- Name beneficiaries: Many financial assets, such as retirement accounts and life insurance policies, allow you to name a beneficiary. Naming a beneficiary ensures that the assets go directly to the person you choose, bypassing probate court.
- Review and update your plan regularly: Your life and circumstances are likely to change as you get older, so it’s important to review and update your estate plan regularly to ensure that it still reflects your current wishes and circumstances.
- Powers of attorney: you can assign someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. This can be medical, financial or both.
- Consider Long-term Care planning: It’s important to start thinking about potential long-term care needs and how they will be financed. Long-term care insurance and Medicaid planning can be useful tools to help protect your assets and ensure that your long-term care needs are met.
- Plan for disability: You should also think about how you would like your assets and dependents to be taken care of if you become incapacitated. A living will and a durable power of attorney for healthcare can be useful tools in this regard.
It’s a good idea to consult with a qualified attorney or financial advisor to help you create an estate plan that meets your unique needs. If you’re ready to build your estate plan, get in touch with our office today to learn more about your options. Call our office at 718-354-8646 and we would be happy to schedule a consultation.