People frequently think of estate planning as something that older adults do. It is common for people to put off the creation of an estate plan until they achieve certain personal milestones. Some adults even wait until they are almost ready to retire to prepare for their own mortality. Although it is human nature to defer unpleasant activities, including the drafting of estate documents, it is a far smarter choice for an individual to take action earlier in life. That way, they can reap the benefits of their advanced planning, including enhanced peace of mind, for longer.
Given that many people don’t marry until their late twenties on average and may wait even longer to have children, if they have children at all, many adults don’t see the value in estate planning when they are young, don’t have any dependents and may not yet have any major assets. Yet, estate planning during one’s youth is often critically important.
People may not die, but they may need help
Estate planning is not just an effort to control what happens to one’s property or provide resources or dependence when they die. Estate planning also gives someone control over their circumstances after incapacitation. Advance planning with living documents, including powers of attorney and advance medical directives, allows people and opportunity to empower someone they trust to manage their Affairs in an emergency. Once someone turns 18, their parents no longer have access to their medical records or the authority to make healthcare choices on their behalf.
Those who aren’t married yet have no one to manage their treatments or access their assets. Powers of attorney allow someone to name an agent that they trust when they are an adult who might need help paying their bills or getting the right medical treatments after an incapacitating event, like a car crash that leaves someone in a coma.
There may be a few assets to consider
Although those in their twenties often don’t have much valuable property like businesses or real estate yet, they may have personal property that has some worth and also some emotional significance to the people who care about them. An unmarried adult who dies without children will see their property largely pass to their parents without a will, which makes estate planning a smart move for those who have close friends or a long-term romantic partner that should receive some of their property.
Understanding that estate planning is a smart move even in one’s early twenties can help people to be inspired to safeguard their interests sooner rather than later.