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3 reasons younger adults may want to establish an estate plan

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2024 | Estate law |

People often talk about estate planning as though it were a concern that only applies to older adults and those with major health challenges. However, anyone over the age of 18 theoretically has the right to plan for their future death or incapacitation. In fact, estate planning can be particularly beneficial for those just starting out in life. While older adults are often in situations in which they feel a more pressing need for an estate plan, the documents that someone drafts while estate planning can help adults of every age.

Even those who have just turned 18 or who are still developing their careers may eventually realize that estate planning could be a smart move. The following are some of the reasons that younger adults may need to create an estate plan.

Protection from emergencies

One of the most compelling reasons to create an estate plan is how vulnerable an individual is without one. An estate plan can include advance medical directives and powers of attorney. Those documents have power if someone experiences a personal emergency. Younger adults are less likely to have married and therefore do not have a spouse to speak on their behalf or access their financial accounts. Their parents likely lost the authority to do so when they turned 18. Therefore, estate planning in early adulthood is beneficial for those who may experience an emergency ranging from a car crash to a crime at work that puts them in a coma.

Control over one’s legacy

Those just starting out in their careers likely do not have extensive personal resources accumulated yet. However, what assets they do have might have significant value to them and also to their closest loved ones. Unmarried romantic partners, roommates and close friends could all become beneficiaries in someone’s estate plan. People can leave resources for the people they care about with an estate plan. Otherwise, whatever property they own when they die could likely pass solely to their parents under intestate succession laws.

Protection for dependents

Those who have children want to ensure the comfort and well-being of their dependent loved ones if anything should happen to them. An estate plan can include a will that means a guardian for one’s children. Living documents like powers of attorney can also help ensure there is someone the testator trusts to pay their bills or make their health care decisions in an emergency so that their household isn’t thrown into a state of utter chaos.

People at any stage of their adult life may benefit from the creation of a thorough estate plan. Taking the time to create an estate plan can be as important for those who have just started their adult lives as it is for those who are close to the age of retirement.