You are in your 20’s or early 30’s. Why would you need to think about estate planning? You have more debt than assets. If you have a house or car, the bank owns more than you do.
Well, you do need to think about estate planning. Any assets that you do own need to be planned for. If something untimely happened to you, who would receive these assets? If you are unmarried and do not have any children and If you were to die without a Will, your parents would in all likelihood receive all of your assets. If they are not alive, your assets would be divided equally among your siblings.
If you have children but are not legally married, who would handle the money for your children? If you and your children’s mother were both to die, who would care for your children? If you want to have any input into this circumstance, you need to execute a will. You can name your beneficiaries and the persons who would be in charge of your estate. If you have children, you could name the guardians and conservators for those children.
So, is that all you need? No. You need also to plan for a disability. If you were ill or injured and unable to make decisions for yourself, who would do that for you? Without anything in place, your family would be forced to go to Probate Court to gain Guardianship and Conservatorship over you. This is costly and time consuming.
The better plan is to execute a Durable Power of Attorney and Patient Advocate Designation (Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care). This would enable the individuals who you trust to step in and pay your bills while you were disabled. They also could make medical decisions to permit you to receive the best medical care.
When should you do this? Now. You may not need these documents for years to come – or – you might need them tomorrow.