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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Monday, February 26, 2018

Estate Planning: Should I Be Doing It?

What is the right age to begin consider estate planning? Should I only think about estate planning if I’m rich?

These are two interesting questions we often hear. The answers are really simple.

If you are an adult (18 or older), it’s not too early to think about estate planning. And while you may not be rich, you likely have assets that need to be considered should something happen to you.

As a young adult you may already have cash, life insurance or other assets that may have been given to you by your parents. If you are working, your job may offer a 401k plan or some other retirement plan, and you are already participating in it.

If something unexpected were to happen to you at any age, what happens to those assets? If you have created the appropriate estate planning documents, those assets will go where you designate. If not, Florida law determines how they will get distributed. It may not be much, but wouldn’t you want to decide where those assets should go?

You may already have a family – children and even pets. You want to consider who will take care of them should something happen to you. Again, having the estate planning documents in place will take care of that.

If you have young children, this planning should include setting up a guardianship should something happen to you. That way any assets they receive from you are protected until they reach adulthood.

What if you become incapacitated? Young people think “that will never happen to me.”

And while no one – especially young adults – wants to think about this, who makes medical or financial decisions if something happens to you, and you cannot speak for yourself. An advance directive, medical surrogate, durable power of attorney and living will are all documents that can come into play at any age.

So if you are a young adult (or the parent of one), and whether you think you (or your young adult child) have assets or not, the answer to when to start considering estate planning is right now.



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