Many young adults are concerned with starting a fulfilling career, paying off student loans, buying a home, and starting a family. Estate planning and planning for retirement may take a backseat to these things, which are more immediate concerns in the present. But there are many reasons to start thinking about these issues today, because not everything in life goes according to plan. When life throws unexpected challenges at you, having an estate plan for your home and assets can help your family and the state follow your wishes.
Here are just a few reasons why estate planning is important, no matter what phase of life you’re in.
When You Can’t Communicate Your Desires
This is uncomfortable to think about, but it’s nonetheless possible: a medical condition or accident could render your ability to communicate. Having a durable power of attorney that indicates your desires can help whoever is assigned power of attorney to make medical decisions on your behalf, based on your instructions. Some of these decisions may include treatment plans or whether to continue life support. Having doctors or relatives make guesses about your medical wishes can compound an already tragic situation. Knowing that your relatives honored your wishes can help provide a small comfort.
When You Need Ongoing Financial Help
Following the hypothetical situation of illness or injury, if you are mentally incapacitated, how would you pay for your long-term care? Part of estate planning involves choosing a financial power of attorney to make these financial decisions for you. This person should be someone you trust: a spouse, a sibling, or other relative, perhaps. This power of attorney would remain effective for as long as you are unable to advocate for yourself.
When You Are Unable to Care for Your Children
No parent likes to consider someone else raising their children. But in the event of an accident or illness, you’ll want to decide now who will be the official guardian if you or your spouse should pass away. If these desires are not communicated clearly in a will — say you want a specific aunt or uncle to be the new legal guardians — this decision will be made by the courts. A court that does not know you or your family could select a guardian that is not your first choice.
When You No Longer Control Your Assets
This is what most people think of when they hear the term “estate planning”: what happens to your property, your valuables, and the funds in your savings account. Once again, your desires are best communicated in a Last will and Testament. You can request that all of your money, your home, your car, or any heirlooms be divided among your children. You could also decide to donate a portion of your estate to any charitable organization of your choice. Having these desires in writing will prevent your heirs from having to argue over your assets in court.
Make Sure Your Interests Are Represented
Having a will does more than make your wishes known: it cuts down on the amount of time it takes for your assets to be distributed, which is called a probate process. Without a clear estate plan, your living relatives may have to wait up to a year to receive their portion of the estate. You can also choose a specific person to oversee the distribution to make sure everything goes according to your desired plan.
Estate Planning and More in Coral Springs
The Law Offices of Gary I. Handin is a law firm consisting of knowledgeable attorneys who are equipped to help you with estate planning legal services. This includes things such as drafting a living will, powers of attorney, title searches, probate services, and much more. For questions, concerns, or to schedule a legal consultation, call our law office today at 954-796-9600. We’re small, but mighty. And with over 50 years of experience helping people with their estate planning matters in Coral Springs, we’re confident we can help you too!