Most people in their first few decades don't have any estate planning done, and certainly don't have it at the top of their to-do list. But there are good reasons a person in their 20s or 30s should consider putting their intentions in writing, whether in a Will or Living Trust:
- Of course, if you have children, you can designate guardians for them. But that's just the start.
- The death of a younger person can leave their parents with difficult questions to answer at a terrible time. Estate planning can make the process easier for everyone. It would designate who would be in charge of making decisions. And it would be a comfort for survivors to know that their loved one's wishes were being followed.
- Estate plans can include provisions for beloved pets.
- Estate plans can include frequently-used passwords. Even though passwords are likely to be changed or rotated, an indication of what a password is likely to be could make things easier for a Personal Representative who wishes to protect their loved one's valuable online content.
- Estate plans can last a long, long time. We recently probated a Will that was drafted in 1961. It still met the family's needs, despite its age. And it vastly simplified the process of administering the estate.
- A Will can include provisions for a life partner who is not a spouse.
- Estate plans can express personal values by specifying contributions, regardless of size, to favored charities.
- A meeting regarding estate planning can help couples understand the nature of community and separate property, and how to make plans for both.
- If you have a child with special needs, you can protect their future with a Special Needs Trust.