Many people believe that estate planning is just for older people. After all, you tend to accumulate property and assets as you age, so this seems logical. It isn’t true, however. There are many reasons why young people can also benefit from estate planning. In this article, we examine three reasons young adults need an estate plan.
#1: Planning for Incapacitation
Unfortunately, serious medical issues, such as incapacity, can affect people of any age. As a young adult, an estate plan can help you plan for these types of unfortunate situations. By creating powers of attorney for financial matters and health care decisions, you can designate one or more individuals to make decisions on your behalf about these types of matters should you become unable to do so yourself. The failure to put powers of attorney in place, however, can subject your family to a potentially difficult, time-consuming, and expensive court process.
#2: Avoiding Intestacy
Although nobody wants to think about dying, some people, unfortunately, pass away prematurely. And when a person dies without an estate plan in place, his or her assets are distributed through a process called intestate succession. To put it simply, this means that if you pass away without an estate plan, state law will make all decisions about the distribution of your property with no input from you. For example, in Kentucky, when a young, unmarried person with no children passes away without an estate plan in place, the deceased’s parents automatically inherit his or her property. Furthermore, if a married person passes away in Kentucky with no will, the spouse does not automatically inherit all of the deceased spouse’s property. Although this may be an acceptable outcome in some situations, often, such property distribution decisions are inconsistent with the wishes of the person who passed away. In other words, to maintain control of decisions regarding your assets and property, you absolutely must create an estate plan.
#3: Protecting Young Children
Finally, many young adults have young children. If you are a young parent, and you die without an estate plan in place, a Kentucky District Court judge will determine who will care for them. With an estate plan, however, you can designate a person or persons to care for your children should you pass away unexpectedly. In other words, if you want to keep a decision of this magnitude out of the hands of the court, you should address it proactively in an estate plan.
Contact an Experienced Shelby County Estate Planning Attorney
At Berkley Oliver PLLC, our experienced and talented estate planning attorneys provide comprehensive estate planning services to clients throughout Central Kentucky. Although estate planning may seem difficult, it doesn’t have to be when you have a knowledgeable Kentucky estate planning lawyer in your corner. Regardless of your unique estate planning needs, the attorneys at Berkley Oliver will take the steps necessary to ensure that you and your family remain protected for years to come. If you are ready to begin the estate planning process, please contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation.