Unfortunately, a lot of people think this way, and in far too many cases, a lack of planning can yield devastating results. In reality, all adults should have some type of estate plan in place.When it comes to young people who have dependent children, estate planning is an absolute must.
First and foremost, your children are relying on you for everything when they are still dependents. You have to think long and hard about the situation they would be in if you were no longer there to provide support. Of course, the same thing would apply to your surviving spouse or significant other if you have a partner.If you do not have a sizable store of assets, you should be proactive about the implementation of an income replacement strategy. This can be done through the purchase of the appropriate level of life insurance, and term life premiums are surprisingly inexpensive for younger adults.There is another very important consideration that has nothing to do with money. If both parents were to pass away simultaneously in an accident, who would care for the children? This question is even more profound in single parent households.You can answer it yourself if you include the choice of a guardian when you are devising your estate plan. Should this horrible circumstance ever present itself, the court would honor your request unless the judge felt as though it was not in the best interests of the children for some reason.
There should be an asset transfer vehicle at the core. One popular choice is the revocable living trust, and it could be a trust that is jointly held by a husband and wife. You lose no control when you use this type of trust, because the trustors could serve as co-trustees and co-beneficiaries while they are living.A very useful element of a living trust for a family would be the ability to empower a successor trustee to manage assets in the trust for the benefit of the children if the unthinkable was to take place. Short of this, every family should have an estate plan, and a living trust can be a long-term tool that is appropriate for each stage of life.Incapacity planning is another important piece to the estate planning puzzle. If you were to fall into a terminal state with no hope of recovery, would you want to be kept alive through the utilization of artificial life-sustaining measures? You can answer this question through the execution of a living will.Durable powers of attorney are used to name agents to act on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation. Just because you are married, does NOT mean your spouse would automatically be able to make health care decisions for you.When it comes to separate property that is not jointly held by both parties in a trust, you would need to use a durable power of attorney to give your spouse (or anyone who you choose) the ability to manage the property in the event of your incapacity.
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Action is required if you are a young adult going through life without an estate plan. We are here to help, and you can send us a message through our contact page to request a consultation. If you would rather reach out by phone, our number in Kansas is 913-262-2000.