Many people believe that they don’t need an estate plan until they begin to reach retirement age. That’s when they start planning for the cost of aging, such as living in an assisted living center, and for the eventual need to leave their assets to their heirs.
This is certainly a good reason to make an estate plan, and it can be very helpful to do so if you are in this age range. However, do not assume that age is the only reason to create a plan. There are many more, and young people also need to plan for the future. Consider these questions:
If you’re a parent, what happens to your children?
First and foremost, many people start families in their 30s or perhaps even earlier. When that first child is born, you want to consider what would happen if you passed away early. You can pick a guardian, for instance, so that you know where the child will live and who will raise them. You can also set up a trust so that your child gets your assets at an appropriate time, should you pass away when they’re still a minor.
If you get divorced, what happens to your assets?
You may also want to create an estate plan if you get divorced. Perhaps you have children with your ex and you may get remarried and have more children. This type of complex family situation means that you really need to make sure that your assets go to the right individuals. You may also want to ensure that your ex does not get assets that you want to go to your new spouse. Planning in advance helps avoid mistakes.
If it’s time for you to make a plan, regardless of your age, consider your options carefully. There are plenty of estate planning options out there for you to explore.