Have you started estate planning?
If you’re like most young people, the answer is probably no. According to a 2019 Caring.com survey, only 18% of people aged 18-34 have some sort of estate plan in place. This may be due in part to a belief that estate planning is only for the old or the rich. However, making sure that your loved ones are taken care of in the event of a tragedy is not dependent on reaching a certain age or accruing a certain amount of wealth. In fact, having very few assets makes some aspects of estate planning, like setting up life insurance, even more important.
It’s never too early to plan for the future — and it doesn’t have to be difficult, either.
Estate Planning is Important at Every Age
You don’t need to have grandchildren or yachts to prepare for the worst. Estate planning is about taking care of the people you love, and as soon as you become a legal adult, you should begin making decisions to protect them in the event of a tragedy.
Once you turn 18, you become responsible for your own legal, financial, and health decisions. If you never put an estate plan in place to communicate your wishes in the event of incapacitation or death, then an accident may leave your loved ones powerless to help. They may be kept in the dark regarding medical emergencies, or be forced to go through the probate process in court to access your $2,000 checking account.
As you grow older, get married, have children, and accrue greater assets, the consequences of not having an estate plan grow worse. You may leave your spouse unable to cover your housing costs, your children without an appointed guardian, or your assets to be divided by the courts.
At every age, it pays to plan. So why haven’t young people started?