So, WHO needs an estate plan, anyway?
Who needs to be most concerned with estate planning? What age group? Ask Iowans this question, and I’ll bet most would conjure up the image of a retiree who just spent 50+ years working hard to acquire significant assets. Of course, it’s important for this demographic to have a quality estate plan, that’s fairly obvious.
But, imagine a young, married couple. They both have good jobs, live in a fine starter home, and have a baby.
This young couple tries to put away a little bit of money for savings, in a 529 college fund, and for retirement. Why should they worry about estate planning?
The truth is, this young couple should be just as concerned–arguably, even more concerned–with estate planning as the retiree.
Here are four reasons why:
- Choosing guardians for minor children. In an estate plan, you can choose the guardians of minor children (e.g., children under age 18). If you should become incapacitated, or even die without any estate plan, an Iowa court would have no choice but to appoint a guardian for your children – but it may not be who you wanted or would have chosen. Better to have plenty of time to consider and make a careful, well-reasoned choice.
- Save on fees, court costs, and taxes. A good estate plan can save you and your estate money on fees, court costs, and taxes. These savings can be even more critically important for a smaller estate (more likely when you’re younger), than for larger estate (more likely as you grow older). Often, young folks actually have the greatest need to save money to pass along the greatest amount they possibly can to family and loved ones.
- Help favorite charities. Having an estate plan means that you can put into place immensely helpful donations for your favorite charities. Without an estate plan there’s no opportunity for you to help your favorite charities
- Life is uncertain. It may be awkward to talk about, but life isn’t guaranteed for any of us, young or old. There’s an old saying in estate planning circles that goes, “People don’t always die when they are supposed to.” Wives usually outlive their husbands, parents usually outlive their children, and so on, but not always. It is best to be prepared for anything and everything.
Who should be most concerned with estate planning? I actually think young people should be!
Whatever your age, if you are interested in estate planning (as everyone should want to check it off their list), a good place to start is my free Estate Planning Questionnaire. Questions? Want to discuss you personal situation? Contact me for a free consult!