The common caricature of estate planning is that it’s just for the elderly—a means for aging adults to ensure a proper financial legacy is left behind for their progeny. But that’s misleading. Estate planning offers tools and strategies for everyone, and in fact is recommended for adults of all ages—even young professionals.
Consider some of the reasons why estate planning makes sense even for those who are still quite young—recent college graduates, newlyweds, new parents, etc.
Accidents can happen. Estate planning is not just concerned with death and dying; it is also a way to protect yourself and your family in the event of an accident. Of course, nobody plans on an accident befalling them, but we all know that highway accidents and workplace incidents happen all the time. An accident can leave you incapacitated and unable to work, either in the short term or the long term, but proper estate planning can involve insurance and other arrangements for your bills to be paid and your needs to be met. It also provides things like healthcare proxy agents and durable powers of attorney—in short, making sure that any important healthcare decisions are made by people you trust, as expediently as possible.
You need to protect your children. If you have children, estate planning can help you ensure that they are taken care of should something horrible happen to you. You want your children to go where you want them to go—to a friend or a grandparent, maybe—and not where the court dictates. Thus, estate planning is necessary for single parents, but also for married parents, should both be victimized by the same accident or event.
Estate planning can minimize ambiguity. More than anything, estate planning will provide some clarity about your final wishes—wishes that might entail funeral and burial, the allocation of your assets, decisions about your children, etc. Clarity, in turn, reduces fighting among family members. A dearth of conflict is certainly a good legacy to leave behind!
It minimizes the burden on your family. Should something tragic happen to you, it will cause your family members and close loved ones to experience grief, stress, and sadness—and the last thing you want is for them to have a thousand financial and legal headaches, on top of that. Again, the clarity provided by estate planning can be a boon.
Estate planning provides confidence. The bottom line is that estate planning allows for some confidence and assurance—some peace of mind that you can carry with you through life, knowing that your estate plans have been laid. Now, revising your estate planning is a necessity, but there is no reason why you can’t take the preliminary steps while you are still young.
The first step is to ask a financial advisor about the basics of estate planning. Contact Stonepath Wealth Management today to schedule a consultation.