It is understandable that planning for the possibility of death or incapacitation would be one of the last things on your mind when you are a young adult. However, the fact remains that as soon as you are married and have your first child, you have a family that is depending on you. From that point forward planning for any possible eventuality becomes one of your responsibilities. Below are three foundational elements that should be included in the estate plans of young adults.
A Living Will
When you think about estate planning financial matters may immediately come to mind, but there is another aspect to consider. If you were ever incapacitated suddenly due to an accident or serious medical trauma and unable to make your own medical decisions, your family would be left to make them for you. How an individual feels about things like being kept alive by artificial means when he or she is in a terminal condition is a personal choice. It would be agonizing for your loved ones to be faced with such a decision without knowing how you feel about it, and you can make your wishes known through the execution of a living will.
When your family relies on your income to be able to pay the bills and maintain their quality of life, is important to have an income replacement vehicle in place to protect them should you pass away unexpectedly. Life insurance traditionally fills this need, and it is important to review your coverage regularly and make adjustments as your family grows and their needs increase.
If you are a single parent, who would take care of your child or children if you were to pass away unexpectedly? If you and your spouse have children, and you both passed away in a car crash together, do you know who would assume guardianship? You can answer these questions yourself by drawing up a will that expresses your guardianship choices to be certain that your wishes are honored in the unlikely event of your sudden death.