When you think of estate planning, you probably imagine an older couple with a large amount of wealth and possessions. It makes sense that they need to get their affairs in order to properly allocate their assets after they have both passed, but what role does estate planning have for you if you’re young? Even if you’re single with no children and few assets, an estate plan is still essential for you to have. Before you make any decisions, you should always consult with an experienced estate lawyer. Let’s understand why:
Power of Attorney
If you’re young and healthy, chances are you aren’t thinking about what might happen if you get in a serious accident. However, if you’re injured to such an extent that you are not able to make decisions about your own medical care, someone will have to do so on your behalf. If you don’t have a power of attorney, this could be a tricky situation.
Essentially, a power of attorney is someone that can make decisions on your behalf. Part of your estate plan will name your POA and can even specify guidelines for them to follow. You might state you do not want to be kept in a vegetative state, or you might give specific instructions for how to handle your finances.
What Happens to Your Children?
Lack of assets is no reason to avoid estate planning, especially if you have children. If both you and your spouse are incapacitated or have died, you will want to have the final say regarding who raises your children. In certain situations, there might be an estranged family member who decides they want to be involved, and without a plan in place, it could become a legal nightmare.
Naming a Beneficiary
You might not own a home or even your car, but naming a beneficiary is crucial for any adult. Whether you’re married or not, you will need to name a person to be the one who receives your assets and handles your financial matters if you’re unable to. Again, having this set in place ahead of time avoids lengthy legal issues regarding who receives what.
If you are married, your spouse might not automatically receive everything if you passed away, despite that being a logical conclusion. You might want to specify a certain division of assets between your spouse and your children as well, and here is where estate planning will be key.
No matter your age or financial status, it’s necessary for you to undertake estate planning. If you’re not sure where to begin, contact The Matus Law Group today. We can take an inventory of your assets and help you figure out the best plan for your situation.