Estate Planning At Any Age
Many young adults in their twenties and thirties often put estate planning on the back burner, as they may not think they’ve accumulated enough property to constitute an estate. However, an estate comprises everything you own- investments, money, vehicles, real estate, business interests, digital assets (including cryptocurrency), and any other personal belongings. No matter the monetary value, your possessions need to go somewhere after you pass away. While you may not think about dying young, life is uncertain (as the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us). Estate planning is not just for the old and the rich. Read on to learn more about estate planning and how you can plan for the future at any adult age.
What Is An Estate Plan?
The documents that make up an estate plan depend on your financial structure or wealth, but everybody should have a will. Everything you own becomes your “estate” when you pass away. After you die, your estate goes through a probate process where the court determines where your estate goes for anything that doesn’t have a beneficiary or co-owner. Since the probate court inventories your assets and notifies and pays creditors, your will is public record. If you have a will in place, the probate court can use it as a guide, while in the absence of a will (known as dying interstate), the court implements state intestacy laws to establish where your assets go.
Not Too Young To Plan
Young adults should all prepare an advance healthcare directive, known as a medical directive or living will, including a durable healthcare power of attorney. An advance healthcare director contains legal documents establishing your healthcare wishes in the case you’re incapacitated permanently, or for end-of-life healthcare designations of how and who to make such decisions. It’s also essential to include a HIPAA privacy authorization form for your durable healthcare power of trustee or attorney. The HIPAA form allows healthcare and medical professionals to disclose relevant medical records and health information to your healthcare proxy. As difficult as it may be to contemplate your mortality when you’re young, think about how common cancer, strokes, accidental injuries, and heart disease are in young American adults. Planning ahead with a collected, competent mind is the smartest course of action, and you’ll feel better knowing you have a plan in place in the case something tragic does happen.
Revocable Living Trust
Some young adults already have enough real estate, assets, or business interests to make a revocable living trust worthwhile. This type of trust ensures privacy by avoiding the probate process, and you can amend it as many times as you want. As your assets and relationships evolve throughout your life, you can change asset distribution or add assets. An estate planning attorney can assist with determining if this type of trust fits your specific age and financial situation.
Contact Us Today
It’s always best to be proactive and plan ahead. If you’re looking for an experienced Florida estate planning attorney, make an appointment with BNC Law Firm today.