As parents you constantly give your adult children advice. Dont wash the red socks with the white shirts, unplug electrical items when you’re not using them, try to avoid debt. But have you advised them to get their basic estate planning documents done?
It’s safe to assume your adult children will outlive you because statistics support this assumption. But, realistically, we all do dangerous things every day that could lead to an unpredicted accident. As you’ve surely found out over the years, it’s just as important to plan for the unpredictable as it is the predictable.
Expect the Best, Plan for the Unexpected
Accidents can happen at any time, take a moment to reflect – do your children participate in any of the following activities?
- Commuting to/from work
- Using a cell phone while walking or driving
- Engaging in active hobbies
Unfortunately, simple every day things we do can easily lead to an accident. If we’re lucky we get out unscathed, maybe after a quick trip to the doctor’s office. But sometimes, we’re not so lucky, and accidents can lead to incapacity or an unexpected death.
What to Plan For
There’s no need to wait until your child marries, buys a home, or has a child to suggest they begin their estate planning process. Here are the documents they need for basic protection:
- Power of Attorney: identifies who will make financial decisions on their behalf should they become incapacitated.
- Advance Health Care Directive: outlines their preferences for medical care should they become incapacitated.
- Will: determines who takes posession of their belongings should they unexpectedly pass away
- Beneficiary Designations: if life insurance or 401k plans are in existance it’s important to keep beneficiary designations up to date.
What Happens Without These Documents?
If your adult child becomes incapacitated or passes away without these documents, the state default rules will apply. This could leave you in court in attempts to gain control over your childs assets and belongings. A process that can become lengthy and expensive.
Don’t Think your Adult Child Has Assets? Think Again.
While they may not have accumulated a vast amount of assets in young adulthood – they still have more things to take into consideration than they may realize:
- Retirement Accounts
- Life Insurance Policies
- Real Estate, Vehicles, Boats, Jewelry, Electronics & Home Furnishings
- Family Memoribilia
- Digital Assets
This is NOT the Time for a DIY
Many young adults these days prefer DIY methods when it comes to overall life – this is not the time for that. Each state has different laws that apply to estate planning documents. If your adult child prints a will offline, it likely will not comply with state law and be useless should anything happen.
Finding Someone You can Trust
We like to help young adults begin their estate planning, so that down the road they have someone they can trust. If your child is 18+ and would like to get their basic estate planning documents set up, have them give us a call: 912-352-3999