It’s pretty common to put off planning for your end-of-life needs, especially if you’re young. Having a will is typically associated with older folks, so many younger adults find estate planning irrelevant for them at this stage in life.
However, young people, especially those with children, need a will too. In a will, you can appoint a guardian for your children in the event that the unthinkable were to happen. If both you and your spouse were to die, you’d have planned ahead for the care of your children, and most importantly, had control in the decision.
Casual conversation with family about your wishes isn’t enough. If you told your mom that you wanted her to take the kids, but your brother felt he was the better choice, there could potentially be a court battle over custody. Putting your wishes in writing ensures that they will be honored and saves your family the guesswork.
Elements included in an estate plan
An estate plan can give any family peace of mind. Some of the elements might include:
- Designating a guardian for your minor children in the event of your death.
- Outlining your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets and possessions, which may include leaving money to a charitable cause.
- Appointing an executor to administer your will. Typically, an executor is a trusted family member that will ensure your will is administered according to your wishes.
- Establishing an Advanced Healthcare Directive that might include a living will or a Durable Power of Attorney in the case you were to become incapacitated.
A solid estate plan includes many things but doesn’t need to be complicated and can evolve over time as your needs change. Having a will in place makes the process of setting your estate easier for surviving family members and will help to keep the peace during an otherwise stressful and emotional time.