Estate Planning Law
If you are a millennial, you may have considered the idea of creating an estate plan, but chances are that you have not yet worked with an experienced attorney to draft a complete and enforceable plan. If you have, kudos to you for being ahead of the pack! Make sure to connect with your attorney every time your estate plan needs to be updated and to occasionally explore whether you need to add any elements to your plan; you are in good shape and just need to stay that way. However, if you have yet to work with an estate planning attorney to draft a complete and enforceable estate plan, it is important to do so now.
You may be wondering “what’s the rush?” After all, you’re young and (at least, statistically speaking) you are unlikely to need the protections of an estate plan for many years to come. Unfortunately, none of us knows how long we will spend on the Earth before our estate plans suddenly become urgent business. And once you have turned 18 years of age, you become responsible for your own legal decision-making. Please do not take either time or resources for granted. If you want your wishes regarding any sentimental or valuable property you may own, guardianship of your pets, medical decision-making in the event you become incapacitated due to illness or injury, guardianship of any children you may have, control over your digital estate and your end-of life care to be respected… you need an enforceable estate plan. And working with an attorney to draft that plan needs to happen as soon as possible so that it is in place in the event it becomes urgent business.
Estate Planning Early in Adulthood
You may not know exactly how you want to structure your estate plan yet, as you likely have not spent a great deal of time thinking about it. That is totally okay. Attorneys experienced in this area of law know what questions to ask, which tools to access and how to craft a complete and enforceable estate plan that meets the needs of any particular individual. No two lives are exactly alike, so no two estate plans are exactly alike. This is one of the reasons why it is important to work with an attorney rather than simply cobbling together random estate planning documents online. Unless you have a law degree, you are likely unaware of all of the legal and financial tools available that may enhance or detract from the ultimate effectiveness of your estate plan.
Please seek guidance and take comfort in the fact that estate plans are meant to be updated over time. When major life events occur, you can work with your attorney to revise your plan at any time. You don’t have to know all the answers now, you just have to have a solid foundation for your plan moving forward.