The importance of estate planning for young adults

A common misconception regarding estate planning is that a person needs to be either rich or old for it to become necessary. This thinking is one reason why young people in South Carolina tend to shy away from the subject.

Estate planning involves more than dividing the money of a deceased individual. The process helps to protect the interests of the person doing the estate planning, the people they care about and the things that are important to them.

Why it is important

Life before the age of 40 involves pivotal events and decisions. Events common to this period in life include graduating college, buying a first home and starting a family for many people in their 20s and 30s. These events add both fullness and complexity to the life of the young person, and they make it clear how important it is for younger adults to spend time planning their estates.

What is included

A durable power of attorney is the first of the documents needed for estate planning purposes. This document allows a person whom the subject of the plan trusts to make financial decisions on their behalf if ever incapacitated or unable to perform these duties for themselves.

A planner might find it necessary to choose between a living will and a health care proxy. The former allows the individual to specify the treatment he or she will receive if they become incapacitated. The latter appoints a trusted person to make health care decisions for the person if necessary. Wills and revocable trusts are two other documents that individuals interested in estate planning should explore.

It is never too early for individuals to think about protections for their future. Estate planning will protect the person making the plan as well as other people whom the planner wants to protect. Individuals interested in planning their estate may benefit from speaking with an attorney who possesses estate planning experience.