The biggest mistake humans make is thinking they will live forever. Even though we all understand we are mortal beings, it’s difficult to plan for a future when we think we’ll live a long, long time. However, estate planning is something that should really take place at a young age so that everything is in place in case something tragic happens to you and/or your spouse.
Some people might think there’s no reason to have a will. Well, you want to protect your family from wasting time and money, don’t you? If you die without a will, your family will have to take your “estate” (whatever money and possessions you have at the time of your death) through a long court process known as probate. If you had life insurance, for example, your family would not be able to access those funds until the probate process was complete. A couple of basic estate planning documents can keep your estate out of the probate court and get your assets into the hands of your chosen beneficiaries much more quickly.
Some people think there’s no reason for a will or estate planning because they don’t have much money. This is not true. Young people, no matter how big or small their estate is, should complete a last will and testament with a trusted probate attorney who specializes in probate law. Last wills actually have very little to do with money.
Let’s say you received an inheritance. You may not think of the inheritance as your asset, especially if it is held in trust for you. But, without an estate plan, the disposition of that money will be a slow and complicated process for your surviving family members.
You care about what happens to you if you are in a coma or persistent vegetative state. We all see the stories on the news – ugly fights within families over the prostrate bodies of critically ill children or siblings or spouses. When you write your will, write a health care directive (also called a living will) and financial power of attorney as well. This is especially important if you have a life partner to whom you are not married so they can make decisions on your behalf.
There are so many reasons why estate planning is something young people should take on. At the Thav, Ryke & Associates Law Firm, our attorneys are all probate law specialists. We are here to help you so don’t hesitate calling us to start your estate planning — no matter how young you are.