I’m only 25, I don’t need an Estate Plan
Unless you were born into a very wealthy family (and sometimes even then), your parents’ probably never discussed estate planning when you were growing up and didn’t have any kind of relationship with a personal lawyer.
It’s not a surprise 80% of people die without even a Will. So, why would you need to take action now, when you’re young?
Because you’re financially smarter than your parents and you care more about the people you’d leave behind than the 80% who die leaving their loved ones in the lurch.
You may be young (or young at heart), but you likely have more far more wealth than your folks already; you certainly have bigger dreams, and there’s a good chance you have kids.
It’s not your age that matters when it comes to planning. Your vision and your family circumstances determine whether you need to plan and when to start.
Regardless of how much money you have in the bank, if you have kids at home, you want to be the one who decides who would take care of your kids in the short-term and who would raise them for the long-term, if you were in an accident. You definitely don’t want to leave that up to a court to decide.
Choosing who will take care of your kids and legally documenting your decisions is estate planning … if you have kids, you need it.
If you do have money in the bank (here in Florida more than $75,000) or own any real or personal property, you will want to get it to your family as easily as possible if anything happens to you. The State has a plan for your money, but it’s one that will make life difficult for your loved ones. If you don’t plan, your family will have to deal with the Court, not have access to your assets for 12-18 months and they’ll pay a load of unnecessary expenses that you could have avoided if you had planned ahead. You definitely don’t want to leave the people you love with a mess because you didn’t take care of things.??Giving your loved ones easy access to your money if you are in an accident is estate planning … if you have money in the bank or own even one piece of real estate, you need it.
And, if you have a big vision for your future, you want to set up your business in such a way that it can never be taken from you if you get divorced or sued and so that when you die, your family won’t lose half of it to the government. Yes, there are ways to totally protect what you are building and they are a lot easier to put in place when your company isn’t worth much, like when you are just starting out in your 30s.
Showing the world you mean business about your business and setting it up so that it grows protected for your family is estate planning … if you have a big vision for your future, you need it.
Last, if you want to pass on much more than just your financial wealth and leave the world a better place, you need to set forth the intention to do that and then take action steps throughout your lifetime to capture the intangible assets that are most often lost when someone dies, like your intellectual, spiritual and human assets. It’s about who you are and what’s important to you.
Creating a structure and plan for passing on your values, insights, stories and experience is estate planning …. If you want to leave the world a better place, you need it.
So, what do the old rich guys know that you should know too?
The most important thing to know is that estate planning is really not a do it yourself process. Sure, you can prepare your own will, trust or health care directive, but if you want to make a difference for your loved ones family wealth planning is about far more than documents; it’s about making the very best decisions for yourself and the people you love most so you can leave the world a better place.