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Society often conditions us to believe that estate planning is just something senior citizens do. That’s definitely a misconception. Every adult, no matter whether they just turned 18 years of age or 80 years of age, should take part in this process. It involves much more than drafting a will.
While there are some documents that everyone should have in their estate planning arsenal, others are specific to an individual’s life stage. Do you know which ones are most appropriate for where you’re at in your life?
Your parents generally have a right to make medical and legal decisions on your behalf up until your 18th birthday. Once you reach the age of majority, you’ll have to sign a health care power of attorney if you wish for your parents to make such decisions for you if you become incapacitated.
Upon launching your career, you also need to select the beneficiaries you want to receive any proceeds belonging to your insurance or retirement plan if something unexpected happened to you.
Once you marry, you may need to update any beneficiary designation forms to your spouse’s name. You may also want to draft a joint tenancy with rights of survivorship to ensure that your property would seamlessly transfer to your spouse if something happened to you.
New parents should take time soon after the birth of their baby to name a guardian that would be able to step in and care for their child if they couldn’t do so themselves. New parents can also benefit from funding a trust to provide for their child’s financial needs if they aren’t present to raise them.
Many people don’t like to engage in estate planning because it makes them anxious or sad. Having a plan in place, however, ensures that your loved ones will be taken care of once you’re gone. It should give you some reassurance in knowing that would be the case.
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