Many people think that estate planning is something only wealthy people over the age of 50 do. In reality, estate planning is important for everyone. If you are under 30, unmarried, do not have children and do not feel like you have enough assets to worry about, you should still engage in a bit of estate planning. It is impossible to know what tomorrow will bring and, since accidents happen every day, it is vital that you take steps to make your wishes known should the worst happen.
Estate planning consists of more than just writing a will. You can create instructions in case you end up in a state where you can no longer make decisions for yourself. For example, if you were in a car accident that leaves you in a coma, it is important that you have someone you trust act as your medical power of attorney and carry out your health care directive. Here are some other reasons why you should start estate planning early.
Choose your proxy
As soon as you turn 18, your parents can no longer make decisions on your behalf. This means that if you end up in a coma, as in the above example, they do not have any legal authority to make decisions on your behalf in terms of your health care. This is why, as soon as possible, you should choose someone to act as your durable power of attorney and health care proxy. The durable power of attorney will also give the trusted individual, perhaps one of your parents, the authority to handle certain financial matters on your behalf.
Choose your beneficiaries
Just because you may not have children, it does not mean you do not have beneficiaries to list in your will. Perhaps you have nieces or nephews you would like to leave certain items to, or maybe you would like the entirety of your estate to pass to your favorite charity. By taking the time to create a will and name your beneficiaries, you can reduce the burden of your family suffering through the probate process.
Estate planning is important for everyone, especially since it goes far beyond simply creating a will. Start the process as soon as you can so that you reduce the burden on your family should the unexpected happen.