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Why Do Young Adults Need an Estate Plan?

Why Do Young Adults Need an Estate Plan?
December 26, 2014 weberlaw

There are many common fallacies about estate planning, but there may be no more misleading myth than the notion that estate planning is unnecessary for those under the age of thirty.  While the estate planning needs of a young adult might differ from those of someone older, there are important reasons that young adults should not put off estate planning until they approach retirement.  Admittedly, young people might have a more modest estate to pass to their loved ones, but there are other reasons for estate planning.  Wichita estate planning lawyer J. Joseph Weber has provided some examples of reasons that a young adult should have at least a basic estate plan.

Estate Planning for Medical Emergencies

If you are involved in a serious accident that causes you to suffer a catastrophic injury, you will want certain estate planning instruments.  If you have a healthcare power of attorney, you can ensure that someone you love and trust makes medical decisions on your behalf rather than medical professionals who do not have much familiarity with your values and preferences.  If a car accident causes a brain injury that leaves you in a persistent vegetative state, a Kansas living will can make your preferences clear, so your loved ones do not have to guess about the extreme life-sustaining medical procedures with which you are comfortable.

Management of Financial Matters

There are situations when you might want other people to make decisions about your financial situation because you are unavailable or unable to manage your affairs.  If you want to appoint a family member of loved one to make such decisions, a power of attorney for financial decisions can be used for this purpose.  A durable power of attorney can be used to grant such powers to someone you trust if you are determined to be medically incapacitated, so you are unable conduct your personal financial business.

Appointing a Guardian for your Children

Once young adults become parents, they should make sure they have a will that designates the person they want to be their child’s guardian if the parents are involved in an accident or suffer another form of sudden unanticipated death.  While a court can appoint a guardian when parents do not have a will, the judge might select a guardian who would not have been the parents’ first choice.

Transfer of Assets

While no one expects to be involved in a fatal accident, these types of deaths are not restricted to senior citizens.  Adults of all ages die each year in motor vehicle collisions and other accidents.  If you have a living trust or will, you can make sure that your surviving spouse and/or children have access to the financial means to maintain their lifestyle.  While the best way to handle this issue will depend on your financial situation, an estate planning attorney can set up the most appropriate means for ensuring your legacy passes smoothly to your loved ones.

If you have questions about estate planning issues, we welcome the opportunity to talk to you about an estate plan suited to your needs and goals.  We invite you to call us at (316) 265-7802 or submit an inquiry form through this website to schedule your initial consultation.