Estate planning tips for young adults
One misconception about estate planning is that it merely involves dividing your assets after your death. Just as vital is that estate planning provides for your own care if you become incapacitated by an accident or health crisis. At the same time, the plan can take care of your family and the other people closest to you. You can also set aside money to donate to charities and other organizations.
When you are in your 20s and 30s, you are making financial decisions that will impact the rest of their lives. You may not realize it at the time, but someday you will, when you're attending college, beginning your career and making major investments, such as buying a house.
You also are making life decisions that will shape your financial future. Chief among them are marriage and beginning a family. An estate plan can protect the future of your loved ones in case of a tragedy.
The importance of estate documents
A solid estate plan has several documents in place. The key documents include:
- Durable power of attorney. You name someone you deem trustworthy to make financial decisions for you if you become incapacitated.
- Living will or health care proxy. A living will specifies your desired medical treatment, such as being on a ventilator if you become incapacitated. Or you can name a health care proxy, who will make health care decisions for you.
- Will. You leave written instructions governing the distribution of your assets. You also can appoint a guardian for your children. An executor of your choosing carries out your wishes. If you do not have a will, a court that is unfamiliar with your desires decides the distribution of your assets.
- Revocable trust. This provides instructions for handling your assets after you die. The advantage of a trust is that it allows for the efficient management and protection of your assets.
The importance of thinking about the future
Your estate plan is unique to your personal situation. Estate planning laws differ from state to state, which is important if you relocate one or more times. It is easy, if you try to tackle estate planning on your own, to make innocent mistakes that have a dramatic impact on your future and the future of your loved ones. You may think you have thought of everything, only for your estate plan to be open to a legal challenge if you become incapacitated or pass away.
The Arizona estate planning attorneys at The Law Firm of Brown and Jensen have been providing services to residents throughout the state since 2014. They have the resources and expertise to tailor an estate plan to your specific needs. They have conveniently located offices in Tucson, Scottsdale, Chandler, Peoria, Goodyear, Show Low and Payson. Contact us today for a free consultation.