If there’s one person who is least likely to step into an estate planning attorney’s office, it’s a person under the age of 40. Most younger people don’t really believe they need any kind of estate plan at all. Even if they’ve heard stories about what happens when you don’t have an estate plan, or know people who have been left to deal with the problems created by a family member who died without such a plan, it always seems like something they can put off to a later day.
But the exact opposite is true. If you are under 40 and haven’t yet begun the estate planning process, giving yourself the opportunity to think about the issues involved is always prudent. This is especially true if you have young children, or are thinking about starting a family.
Estate Planning in Dallas Texas
Start Soon, Update Often
An estate plan is something that can grow and change with you over time. If you’re young you probably don’t need to worry about long-term care expenses, Medicaid, and a lot of other issues that mostly affect elderly people. But you can make estate planning choices today that will protect you now and in the future.
For example, if a young couple chooses to create a revocable living trust, that trust can change and grow with them as they need it to. If they ever get the point where they need to change their trust, revoke it, or focus on different estate planning tactics, they can create a plan that will allow them to do that.
The flipside of this is not having a plan in place when you need it. Anyone can experience an emergency situation that would otherwise be addressed by a properly created estate plan. Not having such a plan in place can cause serious difficulties for your family and yourself.
Addressing the “What Ifs”
For a lot of people under the age of 40, estate planning focuses on the possibility of incapacitation. When people suffer serious injuries or illnesses, they sometimes lose the ability to make choices. Though this rarely happens to people under the age of 40, it is something you need to be prepared for.
Incapacity plans include several key elements, such as powers of attorney and advance medical directives. Through these tools you can make choices about what you would want to happen to you and your family should you become incapacitated.
Incapacity plans are especially important if you have young children, or are thinking of beginning a family. If something should happen to you and your spouse, your children will need guidance and care. Without a plan, you have no control of what a court decides when it determines what is in your child’s best interests.