Some people in Rochester may believe creating a will, trust or other estate planning document is only an issue once they reach their old age. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Young adults can benefit from having an estate plan, especially if they have children. After all, death is no respecter of age, and even a young adult can die before their children are grown adults.
One part of estate planning for young parents is designating someone to handle the financial affairs of their minor child if the parents both pass away before the child is 18. This person is known as the Guardian of the Estate. In addition, someone will need to be chosen to raise the minor child if the parents both pass away before the child is 18. This is known as the Guardian of the Person. The Guardian of the Estate and the Guardian of the Person can be the same person or they can be two different people.
Understandably, making these selections is an emotional process. Parents might be afraid that if they choose one family member to fulfill these roles, other family members might be offended. Therefore, it is not a decision to be made in haste. Moreover, it is important that the person or people chosen for these roles are willing to undertake them.
Moreover, an estate plan can include documents like a living will and health care power of attorney. A person can use these documents to address what types of health care decisions he or she would like made if he or she becomes unable to make these decisions on his or her own. This relieves the burden on person’s loved one by taking the guesswork out of the equation during what may be an emotional and stressful time.
As you can see, estate planning is not just for the old — it is for everybody. Young people have as many good reasons to create an estate plan as older people do. Therefore, those who want to begin the process of estate planning may want to first discuss their situation with an attorney who can provide legal advice.
Source: NerdWallet, “Congrats on Your New Baby! Now It’s Time for an Estate Plan,” Brian McCann, Dec. 22, 2016