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Young adults benefit from estate planning too

Owning a vehicle, holding down a job and living alone or with roommates are all hallmarks of adulthood. While the specifics of what actually defines being an adult might vary from person to person, there is perhaps one essential task that should not be ignored -- estate planning. Age does not matter when it comes to discerning the benefits of a will and other important estate planning documents.

Most older adults in Oklahoma have a firm understanding of how an estate plan can protect their estates, but this tends to be more difficult for younger adults. Young adults often imagine living to a ripe old age before passing away after a long, well-lived life, but illness, disease and accidents sadly take many before their time. Estate planning not only provides guidance and protection for an estate, but can also help young people set financial goals for their lives.

A basic estate plan is often sufficient for young adults, which, aside from a will, usually consists of a living will and at least one or two powers of attorney. As most people already know, a will usually outlines exactly how an estate should be distributed and the executor responsible for carrying out those wishes. Conversely, a living will addresses what happens while an individual is still alive but incapacitated to the point that he or she is unable to make decisions. People who have strong feelings concerning certain medical treatments or life-sustaining procedures can detail exactly with what they are most comfortable. Powers of attorney can help them wrap up any loose ends in a basic estate plan by granting one or two individuals the ability to make financial and medical decisions on their behalves should they become unable to do so.

Young adults in Oklahoma are often typecast as being focused on the here and now rather than the future, but this is not necessarily accurate. A great many younger individuals have high hopes for their futures and are simply unsure of how to help secure their own estates for the time being. By estate planning at a young age, most people can help protect their assets and themselves while also setting a clear goal for their paths in life.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Why Estate Planning Makes Sense at Any Age", Nathaniel Sillin, June 8, 2016

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