For Young Adults: How to Adult with Estate Planning

Written by Robert T. Nickerson

I have a question for you all? Did you fulfill your New Years Resolutions or at least get a head start on it? For a lot of young people, one common resolution is to try and be more of an adult. Some of those goals include getting to the gym more often or eating more then Doritos, but another relatable one is to be wiser with their finances. Though anytime is good, perhaps today is the right time to build a new checklist that could apply for an estate plan.

Here are some things to add to that last to feel more like a mature adult.

  1. Write a Will and Testament: Contact a local attorney and talk about how your assets and guardianship of your offspring will be dealt with when you pass away. A will is highly recommended to those over eighteen. In the event of your death, a will helps make the legal process less hectic. Depending on what state you live in, they will determine who gets what and which relative will look after your children and gain custody. Don’t be the one to say “It won’t be my problem because I’m dead”. Help your family avoid a potential conflict by having a Will ready to go.
  2. Make a Power of Attorney: This paper record allows someone to step in to make legal decisions when your not able to (whether it’s death, medical related or even legal related). Power of Attorney’s will give the individual power of deal with finances, bank with those finances, file taxes, and even sell assets like houses.
  3. Execute a Health Care Proxy: A lot like a power of attorney, this will allow someone else to make medical decisions should you be unable to. It’s important to think about who will be the best to carry out what you would want, especially if it was a life or death situation.
  4. Purchase a Life Insurance Policy: In the event of your passing, this will help your family deal with the eventual financial burden. There are different styles and levels of life insurance, depending on how much you want to leave them. An agent can help determine what area you’d fall in and how much you can afford. 
  5. Check Beneficiary Designation Forms: If you or your employer has set up a retirement or insurance account, as about them. Check to see if a proper designee or a successor is listed. Also check with your bank accounts to see if those same beneficiaries are listed. This is all a part of making the process without out easier for the family. 
  6. Think about long term care and disability insurance: This is a good thing to consider in the event of an illness or act-of-god catastrophe. Ask your insurance provider about your options.
  7. Consult with a Financial Advisor: There’s nothing more mature or adult then getting your savings in control. Consult with a financial advisor if your trying to find better strategies to put more money into your accounts. Perhaps you need a second job? A promotion? Cutting back on essentials? They’ll be more then happy to look into your budget and find the best solutions. They ma even work with your attorney to be sure that it coordinates with your estate plan.
  8. Talk to your parents and grandparents about their estate plans: No one wants to think about their peers and parents gone, but we need to ask them sooner then later about their own estate plans. Most of the time they have, but they may have not been updated them on new beneficiaries, new medical problems, or more. 
  9. Think about burial options: This isn’t something to dwindle on for too long. But this is something you shouldn’t do on your own either. Talk to your family about how you want your remains to be handled. Buried? Burned? Donation? You want to get your wishes out so everyone knows what will happen to you.
  10. Count your assets: go around your property, and inventory everything you own, and this includes cash, jewelry, art, stocks, commodities, and other assets worth something. If your not sure you’re the full owner of something, be sure to get that issue resolved as we don’t want another party coming in to claim something. 

Contact our office (Through the contact page, email or phone) for more information if you’d like our help with any of this.

Leave a Reply