It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you don’t need an estate plan when you’re young or even middle-aged. You have a lot on your mind: finding your passion, making a career change, perhaps growing your family, investing in your education, and planning for the future. Estate planning may even be the last thing on your mind. When you’re young, it’s difficult to imagine anything bad happening to you. If it does, you believe it will happen much later down the line.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case and we have to live with the very real possibility of our own mental incapacity or death, which could occur at any time. Estate planning plays an equal part in planning for the future and protecting our loved ones when the worst happens.
Why Do I Need an Estate Plan Now?
Without an estate plan, a probate court in Ohio will decide how your assets will be divided. This is something you want to avoid for the sake of those you care about. The court process can be lengthy, and it can take a while to dispense even simple estates. Probate can also take money from your assets that should be going directly to your family instead. Anything could happen to you at any age, and when the worst occurs you don’t want them to experience additional struggles. They should be able to receive their inheritances quickly, without having to pay attorney fees. Estate plans are especially important if you have a minor child who needs to be cared for, or if you would need someone to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
What if I Don’t Have Many Assets?
You may be thinking, I’m young and I have more than enough expenses to contend with without investing in an estate plan. I don’t even have many assets to pass down. Why is this necessary now? The hard truth is, everyone needs the three essentials of estate planning no matter how old they are or how much money they have: a will, a living will and a healthcare power of attorney. If you are in need of critical health care, for instance, your loved ones will be forced to petition a court for guardianship before they can make any decisions on your behalf. Spending a small amount of time and money now to look out for your family is well worth the cost. Unfortunately, telling someone your wishes isn’t enough to secure a will and it can’t be counted on. Drafting an estate plan is the only surefire way to get prepared and protect those you care about.