Your estate plan allows you to control what happens to your assets when you can no longer make decisions for yourself and after you have passed away. When you are young and starting your family, it may seem like you have plenty of time to build a financially secure future. However, estate planning for young adults is crucial. It is important to take steps early to protect your family’s future and ensure they will be well cared for if something happens to you or your partner.
Estate Planning Isn’t Just for “Old People”
Many young adults mistakenly believe that estate planning is for “old people.” Others find the thought of planning for when they are gone to be uncomfortable or downright scary. But by working with Vander Laan Law Firm, you ensure that your property is passed on to the people you care about most and that your loved ones will be taken care of if you are no longer able to provide for them yourself.
Here are some questions to consider as you begin to think about your estate plan as a young adult.
- What will happen to your property when you are gone?
- Who will take care of your children if they are under 18?
- How will you provide for your partner and your children?
- What if you and your partner pass away at the same time?
- If you are still alive but unable to make life or healthcare decisions, who will make these decisions for you?
- Will your estate go through probate?
- Can you minimize or avoid estate taxes?
Preparing an estate plan to address these and other needs can be challenging. But you don’t have to do it alone. Nevada estate planning attorney Natalia Vander Laan will help you identify your goals and create a plan to protect your family and your assets.
Elements of a Basic Estate Plan for Young Adults
A basic estate plan for a young family should include at least a last will and testament, a durable power of attorney, a healthcare power of attorney, and a living will and advance directives. In some cases, especially if you own real property, your lawyer may recommend a trust.
These documents clarify your wishes and ensure that they will be carried out if you are incapacitated and after you pass. They form the basis of the legacy you will pass on to your partner and your children and ensure that they will be taken care of if you can no longer provide for them.
Naming a Fiduciary
The executor, trustee, and/or financial attorney-in-fact is the person who will handle your financial affairs during your incapacity and after your death. This person should be someone you trust to carry out your wishes. Most people name their spouse or a life partner. But it is wise to include an alternate executor in case you and your partner pass at the same time or if your partner cannot carry out the duties of the fiduciary.
Identify a Guardian for Minor Children
If something happens to one parent, the other parent will continue to raise the children. But what if something happens to both of you? This is imperative when forming an estate plan for a young family. If you have not named a guardian, the court will appoint someone, and that person may not know your wishes, your children, or the values you want to instill. With a properly prepared estate plan, you can name a guardian for your minor children who will raise them according to your wishes.
Distributing Your Assets
In most cases, your assets will pass to your spouse. If both parents die when their children are minors, many young parents want their assets to be used to care for their children. You can structure your estate plan so that many assets will transfer automatically, without the need for probate court oversight. However, an estate plan is still necessary so that if one parent dies, the assets will be passed to the children and managed appropriately.
Manage Your Children’s Inheritance
If you and your partner pass away while your children are young, special provisions must be made to protect your assets and ensure they are used appropriately. If you do not identify someone to handle the children’s assets, the court will appoint a stranger to do it, which will cost additional money. Additionally, your children will receive their entire inheritance when they turn 18. You can protect your children’s inheritance by creating a trust to preserve and manage the assets.
Planning for Disability
This is an often overlooked yet important part of an estate plan for a young adult with a family. You should also consider what would happen if you were disabled and can no longer work. You will need a healthcare power of attorney that appoints someone to make health decisions on your behalf. Many people name their partner, but once again, it is wise to name an alternate in the event that you and your partner are both injured at the same time or if your partner is unable to serve as your representative.
The Vander Laan Law Firm: Estate Planning for Young Adults and Their Family
Estate planning can force you to consider family relationships, confront your own mortality, and make difficult decisions about the future. Natalia Vander Laan can help you work through these decisions and prepare an estate plan that will protect your family in the most unfortunate circumstances. Even if money is tight, she can prepare the most essential documents now and add to the plan as your situation changes. Not having an estate plan can put your family in a worse situation as they will need to pay court costs and will face a possible delay in accessing your assets. By putting a plan in place, you provide yourself and your young family with peace of mind that they will be protected if something should happen to you.
To learn more and begin preparing your estate plan, contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your situation.