Leaving adolescence behind means a life that includes responsibility for yourself and for those you love. That has traditionally included basics like a paycheck, a bank account and life insurance. But today, we also include an estate plan, which The Huffington Post says in “Why Estate Planning Makes Sense at Any Age” is just as important when you are 20 as it is when you are 64.
It should be noted that an estate plan is essential no matter what your financial situation or age. Did you know if you are married without kids and you die without a Will in Maryland, only half of your probate estate will go to your spouse? The other half goes to your surviving parents! If you're married with kids, it varies, but generally speaking, half of your probate estate will go to your spouse, and the other half will go into a guardianship account(s) for each child. At age 18, each child will receive full access to those funds!
We know that it’s easy to not think about taking steps for estate planning. In fact, a recent ABC News poll found that only about 50% of Americans have created a will. Fewer still have created supporting estate documents. But having an estate plan in place can help bring you peace of mind, get you on the road to stronger financial security, and help those about whom you care most.
Estate planning can be a holistic process to set your finances on a much more successful track for the rest of your life. Proper planning is about creating and maintaining good financial behavior.
The estate planning process isn’t supposed to be a “set it and forget it” process. When your life changes in a significant way, that’s a reminder to review both your financial and estate plans to make sure you’re still on course. Estate and financial planning need to be connected.
How do you begin an estate plan? Of course, there are a lot of carefully drawn documents involved. But it’s the planning behind them that really makes it work.
The first step is making an appointment with an estate planning attorney to discuss your current situation, how you’d like to take care of those you love, and what is needed to help you reach these goals. Remember that if you do not have a will, your state law will determine what happens to your assets after you pass away. You may not like that plan, so it is better to have one that you create with the help of an estate planning attorney.
Reference: Huffington Post (June 8, 2016) “Why Estate Planning Makes Sense at Any Age”
Holden & Campbell – Annapolis, Maryland Estate Planning Attorneys