Southside Virginia Estate Planning Lawyer on Overcoming Myths About Estate Planning in Your 30s and 40s
You may not believe you need an estate plan until you are older or have a terminal illness. An estate plan, which generally includes a Trust or Will, and Financial and Healthcare Powers of Attorney, can benefit people of any age. As we explain when discussing the importance of estate planning, Elder Law actually starts at age 18, which is when we legally become an adult.
Planning for the unexpected in your 30s and 40s can help ensure that the assets you do have are secure and your loved ones are shielded from unnecessary fees, delays, and heartbreak if something happens to you.
Planning might also include instructions such as how to manage your healthcare choices if you are unable to speak for yourself. In addition, you might incorporate who among your family, relatives, or friends will adopt your dog or cat (or other beloved pet) if you are in a coma following an accident or at your death. Do you want to leave money set aside for their care? You might want to integrate a Pet trust into your planning.
The following are the most prevalent misconceptions about estate planning for a person in their 30s and 40s.
I am Young and Healthy
People in their thirties and forties believe they are still too young to create an estate plan. Sadly, tragedy may strike anyone at any time. The truth is that you are never too young to start thinking about your intentions for yourself, your family and loved ones, and your estate.
Planning is also critical for those who have minor children. Parents can use their Will to legally document who they want to raise their children if they suddenly pass away. If the parent does not take the time to document their wishes, a judge will decide where the children reside following the parent or parents’ passing and that could be after a lengthy and bitter court battle among family members.
Only Wealthy Individuals Need Estate Planning
It is a myth that estate planning is just for wealthy individuals with an abundance of assets. In fact, many facets of estate planning have nothing to do with money.
For instance, creating a financial power of attorney and healthcare power of attorney allows you to appoint someone you trust to act on your behalf in an emergency. Your living will documents your intentions for the type of medical care and end-of-life treatments (e.g., breathing tubes, ventilators, transfusions) so that your wishes are honored if you cannot communicate.
You can also use your plan to leave a legacy. Even a small donation to the charities or non-profits you care about after your death can make a difference. You can use your estate plan to carry out this goal. In addition, leaving a legacy using Legacy Trusts to protect your loved ones is important at any age.
Bottom line: Everyone Needs a Plan!
Estate planning is an important part of protecting your family and loved ones, regardless of age, and with these myths debunked, you now have the tools to create a plan that works for you. Let us know if we can help! We are here with expert advice about estate and elder law so that you do not get stuck in legal limbo when things happen out of your control. To schedule an appointment at one of our offices located in Virginia, call (757) 645-3176 or (866) 603-5976.