People in Los Angeles often associate estate planning with being middle-aged or older. In a sense, this is natural. We associate wills, trusts, medical directives and so on with dying, which hopefully will not happen to us for many decades.
But in truth, estate planning can be a good idea at any age. That is because it is almost always preferable that your final wishes are laid out in a legally executable document, rather than guessed at by the court or family members.
Even young adults with few assets can create an estate plan. First of all, they still could have assets like retirement plans or life insurance policies through their job that need to be taken care of. Secondly, though it hopefully won’t happen, it is possible for a 20-something in the prime of life to become badly injured in an accident or struck by a terminal illness. In those cases, you may not be able to communicate your wishes regarding quality of life and medical intervention.
As you get older, an estate plan can be even more important, especially if you have children. When a child loses his or her parents, the parents’ estates can be left to the child. But it could be years before the son or daughter is old enough to make financial decisions about the trust. Parents can decide now who would administer the estate on the children’s behalf, and at what age the children would take over themselves.
Also, by that time in your life, you estate is likely more substantial, so you have more assets to figure out how to distribute.
Source: Denver Post, “Don’t wait to plan your estate,” Laura Daily, Oct. 14, 2013