While 18 is the age at which we become legal adults, it’s also the right time to start estate planning. When a person reaches the age of majority, their parents no longer make decisions for them—and basic planning will prevent many future conflicts. Regardless of your assets or financial status, estate planning puts you in charge of decisions related to property, healthcare, and finances. Here, we’ll list a few reasons young adults need estate plans.
Preparing for the Unexpected
If you’re in an accident that causes catastrophic or life-ending injuries, you’ll need several estate planning documents. For instance, a healthcare power of attorney ensures that the right person makes vital decisions on your behalf, while a living will outlines your preferences so your family members don’t have to guess whether you’d want to submit to certain life-sustaining procedures. For help with powers of attorney, living wills, and other documents, visit The Estate Preservation Law Firm at https://estatepreservationlawfirm.com/ today.
Managing Your Finances
In the event of a serious illness or accident that renders you unable to make decisions, you may need someone else to handle your finances. When choosing a friend or family member to make those choices, a financial or durable power of attorney will give that person the legal capacity to do so.
Deciding Who Gets What
If you pass away with no estate plan, the courts decide who gets your assets—which can, as we all know, create other problems. Inheritance eligibility is determined by state intestate succession rules, which depend primarily upon a person’s marital status. Children and spouses are given priority, followed by other immediate family members. If you’re single and have no kids, assets will typically go to siblings and parents first; if relatives can’t be found, the state gets everything.
All these hassles and inconveniences can be prevented with estate planning, which ensures the distribution of assets according to your preferences. State intestacy guidelines only apply to biological relatives, so friends and unmarried partners would get nothing in the absence of an estate plan. If you want people other than family members to inherit your assets, an estate plan is essential.
If a married young adult dies without a plan, most will assume that things would go smoothly, but that’s usually not the case. For instance, if you are married with children from previous relationships, the court may give it all to your spouse and leave those children with no inheritance. In other cases, parents and children become estranged, but the state would still give the children everything in the event of the parent’s death.
In yet another situation, young spouses may die at the same time, leaving all their assets to children who aren’t yet old enough to manage them. In such instances, the children would need a professional guardian, who may not manage those assets in the right way. Dying without an estate plan may lead family members into a courtroom fight over your assets, which can happen even when those assets are insignificant.
Let an estate planning lawyer in Rock Hill SC create an ironclad plan that distributes your wealth exactly as you wish, considering family dynamics and other factors, so your untimely passing won’t be any costlier or more painful than necessary.
Minimizing Familial Conflict During Tumultuous Times
If you’re young and don’t have an estate plan—or if you only have a will—you’re forcing your estate into probate. In probate court, estates are settled, and the process is costly and time-consuming even with a will. With no planning, however, probate quickly turns into an expensive nightmare.
Depending on the nature of an estate, probate may take several months or even a few years to conclude. And, like most other court proceedings, probate isn’t cheap. Once court fees, taxes, and debts are paid, there may be little left for your family. With help from an estate planning lawyer for young adults, many of these issues can be avoided.
Aside from these issues, the hardest part of the probate process is the anxiety and frustration it causes families. Along with grief over a young person’s sudden passing, families are left to navigate an overcrowded court system that’s designed for complexity. Moreover, these affairs become part of the public record, which makes things much more complicated for those left behind.
Thankfully, the drama, hassle, and expense of probate court is avoidable with proper estate planning. Using trusts, for instance, ensures that assets are passed directly to families in the event of incapacity or death, without the need for a long and drawn-out probate process. And, if the planning is handled in the right way, it can all be done in privacy and convenience.
Choosing a Guardian for Children Left Behind
Once a young adult has children of their own, they should create a will designating a person to be the children’s guardian in the event of a serious illness or life-ending accident. While the courts will choose a guardian when there’s no will, judges don’t always make decisions that are in line with parents’ preferences. With the right estate planning steps, young parents can choose guardians who will protect their children’s futures.
Making Things Simple During a Trying Time
Outside of legal documentation, family conflicts, and probate court, it’s important for young adults to think of the mess that would be left behind if they did nothing to plan for the unexpected. Look around at all your possessions and assess your debts and assets. Someone would be forced to deal with it all if you couldn’t do it because of serious injury, illness, or death.
Imagine, now, that same person trying to determine what you own, where it’s located, and how to gain access to it. That’s the complicated mess a person leaves behind when they pass away without an estate plan in place. With a plan created by an estate planning lawyer in Rock Hill SC, you’ll cut through the clutter, leave clear instructions, and simplify the estate management process for those left behind.
There’s No Excuse for Poor Estate Planning, Even Among the Young
While many adults, even young ones, have said that the events of the past three years have led them to realize the importance of estate planning, recent studies show that a significant number of people think it’s not that crucial after all. As we’ve shown here, however, lacking an estate plan can be costly, life-altering, and traumatic for young adults and their families, who will be left to deal with the chaos after an untimely passing.
No matter how young and healthy you may be, you just can’t afford to delay estate planning. An estate planning lawyer for young adults will walk you through the process, ensuring that you’ve taken the right steps to secure your loved ones’ future and protect them from unnecessary conflict, stress, and costs.
While estate planning carries numerous benefits for young adults, one of the biggest advantages is the peace of mind that it provides. When an estate is planned properly, you can rest assured that your loved ones will be cared for regardless of what may happen. Call The Estate Preservation Law Firm today to schedule a consultation with a Rock Hill, SC Estate planning lawyer.