Many people assume that going through the process of estate planning is the same thing as simply preparing a will. Even more prevalent is the idea that estate planning isn’t something that needs to happen until an individual is of an advanced age and closer to passing on from this life.
Unfortunately, both of these popular trains of thoughts are incorrect and each of them provide a list of issues that can make life much harder for loved ones left behind. Estate planning will look different at different phases of life, but what doesn’t change is the importance of having an estate plan in place at any age.
While in college, and immediately after graduating, many people may not an abundance of tangible assets that they need to leave to certain individuals. In most cases, estate planning during these phases of life essentially revolve around having a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare, a Durable Power of Attorney for Finances, and a will to make sure that any account beneficiaries are updated.
While some individuals are married or in long-term relationships before or during their college years, it is more common after the fact. In those cases, the need for proper estate planning changes greatly.
While many people may want to have their partner as their Power of Attorney and primary beneficiary, this stage of life changes peoples’ priorities. If children are involved, there are even more steps parents want to take in the event of an unexpected death or incapacitation.
Going through the proper estate planning process can help the loved ones who would be left behind in the event of an individual’s death avoid probate, which can take months or even years to work through. Not only does having an attorney provide peace of mind for an individual, it does the same for their loved ones.
An attorney who is well-versed in estate planning could help guide their clients through the process and help make decisions no matter what stage of life they’re in. This attorney may review assets, discuss priorities, and help draw up the plans that will protect the client and their loved ones.