Maybe you’re fresh out of high school and contemplating your post-secondary path. Or, you’re a 20-something attending graduate school or working professionally. Whatever stage you are in your young adult life, it’s time to consider creating an estate plan.
Approximately 68% of American adults lack an estate plan, which can lead to consequences like heir disputes or a lack of privacy as the estate goes through probate. Consider creating an estate plan to avoid these issues (and other possible consequences).
4 benefits of early estate planning
When you create an estate plan as a young adult, you get plenty of time to:
- Give a person power of attorney: Granting someone power of attorney is a task you should handle with care since the position involves a person making health, medical and/or financial decisions on your behalf. This can be important if you’re ever incapacitated in an accident.
- Decide whether to draft a will or establish a trust (or both): During the estate planning process, you can choose to make a will, trust or even both. Wills are also suitable for making funeral arrangements or appointing guardianship, whereas trusts are typically just for asset distribution.
- Protect digital assets: People increasingly have digital assets like cryptocurrency, and these assets need to be addressed in an estate plan. You can also leave information behind for your heirs so that they can access your data files, cloud accounts and social media accounts.
- Review any retirement funds: If you have an IRA or 401(k), you can pass on the funds to listed beneficiaries. With that said, it’s crucial to update your financial accounts (and any important documents, for that matter) as your life changes.
Crafting your estate plan sooner than later makes it easier for both you and your heirs/beneficiaries. If you have questions concerning estate planning, it helps to seek experienced legal guidance.