You’re young adults.
You’re on top of the world.
You’ve got some stuff, but you haven’t accumulated a lot of wealth yet.
Maybe you’re a college student.
Maybe you are a young married couple with kids.
Either way, you think to yourself, “ahh, estate planning is for the old and the wealthy. I don’t need an estate plan yet.”
Because estate planning isn’t all about wealth. At the Law Offices of Samantha J. Fitzgerald, it’s all about bringing you peace of mind.
Once you turn 18, certain privacy and independence laws apply to you. While this may sound great, there are some tough realities that go along with this adult status. And it is these tough realities that make having an estate plan an absolute must if you are no longer a minor.
Let’s look at just 3 reasons why young adults need their own estate planning documents, now!
3 Reasons Why Young Adults Need Their Own Estate Planning Documents Now!
Because you have an estate.
Many people are under the mistaken impression that unless they have a lot of money or possessions, they don’t have an “estate”, so they don’t need an “estate plan.
But this simply isn’t true.
If you have money in the bank, debts, a car, a pet, furniture, a home, jewelry, or digital assets (bitcoin, webpages, blogs, YouTube channels, photographs, etc.)—you have an “estate.” You have property and things to take care of. So you want to be the one to decide where your property goes after you die—not some judge.
If you die without a Last Will and Testament (“Will”) the law will decide who gets your property.
2. Because once you turn 18, no one can access your medical records.
The tough reality here is that even if you still live at home and are being claimed as a dependent, once you turn 18, you are considered to be a young adult and your parents no longer have access to your medical records.
This may sound great at first blush, but look a little more closely at exactly what this means.
It means that, if, for example, you are a college student living away from home and you become sick, incapacitated, or require medical care (can you say “alcohol poisoning” or “car accident”?), unless you have the health care documents in place, your parents will not have access to your medical records. Without a health care surrogate designation, if you cannot make decisions for yourself (for example, if you are in a coma), your parents will not be able to make critical medical decisions for you. They will be faced with the expense and stress of having to petition the court for guardianship.
If you also have a Living Will in place, you get to decide in advance what medical interventions you want or do not want, and you can be assured that your wishes will be followed.
Because you need to protect your minor children.
For young adults with children, having an estate plan is critical. You need to decide how you want your property distributed to them. You will also need to decide who should handle any finances for your kids if you are not here to do it. And you need to appoint someone to take care of your children if you should die while they are still minors.
If you die or become incapacitated, and you do not have estate planning documents in place, the court will appoint someone as the legal guardian of your children.
Who will the court appoint?
But what we do know is that the guardianship process is expensive and time-consuming and fraught with fraud and abuse.
So don’t leave the protectors of your children to chance. Get an estate plan in place and decide who you want to take care of your kids if you die.
And do it today.
Estate plans are not just for the rich and elderly. If you are an adult, you need to get at least the basic estate planning documents (Will, health care surrogate/directive, power of attorney) in place for your peace of mind and that of your family.
Estate Planning Lawyers for Young Adults in Plantation, Florida
At the Law Offices of Samantha J. Fitzgerald, we work hard to ensure that your wishes will be followed, and your loved ones taken care of when you are gone. When you work with the estate planning attorneys at the Law Offices of Samantha J. Fitzgerald, you get more than just an estate plan: you get peace of mind. We expertly guide individuals through the complex probate process, and capably handle all aspects of the creation, administration, and settlement of trusts as well. Contact us here or email us at: [email protected]