People who are in their 20s or 30s are typically thinking more about beginnings than they are about endings. For instance, millennials are often focused on starting their career, starting a family, starting a business or starting to save for a home. They think far less about end-of-life planning.
If you are in this phase, you might assume that you don’t need to worry about things like wills or powers of attorney, especially if you don’t have property or children to consider. However, even young people can benefit from some basic estate planning tools that can provide critical protection in the future.
What you can protect
As a young person, you likely don’t own real estate or have sophisticated investment portfolios. However, you could very well have:
- Wishes about what types of medical care you’d want if you were in an accident and incapacitated
- Digital assets or accounts that you’d want closed or managed by someone else
- Specific property or items you’d want a romantic partner or close friend to have
- Benefits from a job, including a 401(k)
- A pet or pets
These, as well as any inheritances or other assets you might have, are likely worth protecting in an estate plan.
What you need to have
To have some basic protections in place that dictate your wishes and give others certain types of decision-making authority, you can have in place:
- A will
- An advance healthcare directive
- Powers of attorney
Other planning documents you might want to consider can be found in articles like this one from Forbes. However, when you are just beginning the estate planning process, these few options can provide a good foundation.
How you can get started
Deciding to have an estate plan in place is a critical first step toward protecting yourself, your property and your loved ones. You can then discuss the process of estate planning with an attorney. After all, a plan must be valid and enforceable for it to be effective.
Estate planning may seem unnecessary if you are young, but every adult in Tennessee could benefit from having certain essential estate planning documents and protections in place.