When you think about estate planning, you may imagine older people, maybe in their 50s or 60s, looking at how they’re going to pass on their assets when they die. You might think about people with large investments or those who have multiple homes.
The truth is that anyone can benefit from an estate plan, and you should have one as soon as you can after you turn 18.
Should you start estate planning in your 20s?
Once you turn 18, you are legally an adult. For that reason, it’s smart to start your estate plan. Your estate plan will help you establish who you want to make health care decisions for you if you can’t do so yourself and who you’d like to take care of your estate if you pass away.
If you have children, you can establish guardianship in your estate plan, so that you know that your little ones will be taken care of if you can’t be there to care for them yourself.
Estate planning in your 20s is going to be different than it would be in your 30s, 50s, 70s or even your 90s. You may not have many assets to protect yet, and you might not have children or a family. The important thing to remember is that your estate plan is meant to grow and change. It’s a living legal plan for what you want to have happen if you’re hurt or ill as well as what you want if you pass away.
Estate planning will help you set up your:
- Living will
- Durable health care power of attorney
- Do Not Resuscitate order
- Guardianship of your children or pets
- Will, so your assets can pass on to your parents, siblings or other beneficiaries
Your life is likely to change in the future, so keep in mind that it is normal to update and alter your estate plan over time.
Setting up an estate plan now just gives you the peace of mind of knowing that your wishes will be known in serious, life-threatening situations and if you happen to pass away young.