Is estate planning only for those folks in the “retirement golden years?” The answer is clearly no, and here are 10 reasons why young adults need to start their own estate plan now.
1. Estate Planning is not only for the millionaire. One’s estate is the collection of all financial and personal interests, and the estate value can add up quickly - personal property, real estate, retirement accounts (IRAs, 401k, annuities), and life insurance are all included. Providing instructions to your family for what to do with your assets is a huge benefit for your loved ones.
2. Estate Planning is not just about death. Do you have a crystal ball that will tell you whether you will become incapacitated? You must plan now for the possibility of becoming incapacitated or your family will end up in the courthouse petitioning for a costly and humiliating Guardianship/Conservatorship.
3. Estate Planning provides protection. Like homeowner’s, renter’s insurance or health insurance, estate planning will give you and your family some greatly needed protection.
4. What happens if you have special needs beneficiaries? It can be problematic for a special needs beneficiary to receive an inheritance out right. Most special needs individuals receive government benefits which require certain financial stipulations to be met in order to qualify. That individual could lose their benefits if the inheritance goes directly to them, which is another reason why a trust is so important.
5. Probate is costly. In Arizona, if you die with assets in your name that total more than $50,000, your estate will trigger a probate. If you have not planned, the state will decide where your assets go and it is a very lengthy and costly proceeding.
6. Your family will lose control. Without a living will, your desired end of life choices may not be carried out by the doctors. Also, upon incapacity, someone will need to be appointed to handle your financial accounts.
7. Minor children, who will care for them? Do you want the state deciding who will care for your children? It is important to ensure that your minor children have a designated guardian that you trust with their care.
8. Do you want your children to receive a lump sum of money at age 18? If your children are under 18 and inherit funds, a conservator will need to be appointed. With proper planning, you can avoid spendthrift children from dissipating away your hard earned estate.
9. Pets, digital assets and passwords. What will happen to your pets? You can ensure they have care and funds to provide for them. What about your online accounts? Hard drives? Digital pictures and videos? Providing clear instructions and passwords will make your family better able to preserve these treasures.
10. When will tragedy hit? Since you don’t know when you will die or if you will become incapacitated, proper planning is necessary to provide peace of mind that your affairs will be handled with the least possible delay and expense, and the greatest amount of privacy.
What the Attorneys of Morris Hall Can Do For You:
The attorneys at Morris Hall have 100’s of years of combined experience ensuring that families’ assets are protected from probate, unnecessary taxes, creditors, ex-spouses and Medicaid spend-down. The attorneys also help those in Arizona and New Mexico to apply for and receive Medicaid assistance and Veterans Benefits. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead. Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.