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Millennials and estate planning: Now or later?

Many millennials believe that estate planning can wait until they are older and more established in life. However, the reality is that no one can predict the future. If you are an adult with dependents, loved ones or assets - or all of the above - there are multiple reasons why you should have an estate plan.

A simple estate plan includes most or all of the following documents:

  • Will
  • Medical and financial powers of attorney
  • Living will
  • Living trust

These documents will help to handle your affairs in the event that an illness prevents you from making decisions for yourself or you have an untimely death, heaven forbid.

Probate

The legal process for probating an estate in California can be costly and time-consuming. Those who die without wills or hold properties that are not in joint tenancy (or other certain situations) will have to go through the probate process. This division of your assets to your family is a public, court-supervised procedure that can take months, maybe years to complete. There are also costs associated with the process, such as court and attorney fees, bond company expenses and more. An estate plan can save those you love a lot of money and time.

Welfare of Children

If you are a millennial and have children, the welfare of your child should be considered in the event you are not longer able to care for him or her. Do you know which members of your family are most capable to care or raise a young child and whether they will be willing to do so? If there are no plans indicating who you to have guardianship of your child, the decision will be left up to the court.

Healthcare Issues

Proper estate planning can also be beneficial during situations in which an individual becomes incapacitated because of health issues and is unable to make her or his own decisions. After age 18, your family members do not have the legal right to access your health information. This means that none of your family members would be able to speak to your doctor regarding your condition, nor would they be able to make medical decisions on your behalf if you were unable to do so yourself. You can prevent situations like this from occurring with an estate plan.

With proper estate planning, you can unburden some of the stress your loved ones will feel if the unexpected happens. An experienced attorney at the law firm of Wall Wall & Peake can help you create an individualized estate plan that will ensure your wishes are upheld.

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