There is a common misconception that not everyone needs an estate plan. Oftentimes, their reasoning is that they may be too young, or don’t have enough assets to plan for. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Every adult needs an estate plan regardless of their age or assets. Let me demonstrate with a few examples.
Michael is 19 years old. He is unmarried, has no children and owns a small bank account as he works his first job. The job offers life insurance and a retirement plan. Michael feels that he does not need to plan his estate as he has no spouse, children, or many assets to speak of. However, Michael is in a car accident and is now incapacitated. His parents are divorced and cannot agree on medical treatment and the bank will not give either parent access to the client’s bank account to pay his bills during his hospital stay. If Michael had prepared a simple Power of Attorney document, he could have designated a person to make decisions during a period of incapacity.
Here is another example. Suzy is a 30 year old single mom with two kids (ages 5 and 7). She has a house with a mortgage, a moderate life insurance policy, a retirement account at work and small bank accounts. Suzy tragically passes away without a will. Her minor children now end up in a court guardianship battle over who will care for them and who will manage the assets that Suzy left behind.
Both of these scenarios are sad and unfortunate. However, had both of these clients prepared basic estate planning documents, such as a Will and Power of Attorney, their fate would be no less tragic, but their families would also have far less conflict, uncertainty, cost, and heartache.
Despite the perception that someone may be too young, have too few assets, or any other reason, estate planning is for everyone.
Contact your local estate planning attorney at Sinclair Prosser Gasior today. To learn more about your estate planning options, join us for a FREE webinar in January.