As the economy expands and individual assets increase throughout the country, estate planning becomes even more important to safeguarding a secure future. Will drafting is an essential part of estate planning, even for young people. Despite popular belief, estate planning is relevant not only to older citizens, but to individuals of all ages. Wills allow individuals with families, homes, financial accounts, businesses, or various physical assets to designate ownership after death and mitigate property disputes. In a sea of misinformation, many individuals question the actual legitimacy of estate planning, especially considering the fluctuating economy. Many attorneys, such as an estate planning lawyer from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, and experts place a heavy emphasis on starting the estate planning process as soon as a young adult reaches majority.
Once a teenager turns 18, they acquire a new set of responsibilities. These powers often present themselves as burdens, especially for Americans who lack the knowledge and financial freedom to prepare appropriate estate plans. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to, decisions regarding personal health, financial accounts, physical property, and lifestyle choices. Therefore, it is extremely imperative that parents engage in conversations with their young adults about the consequences of these newfound powers. Wills grant young adults the power to ensure that their personal wishes regarding these responsibilities are followed in the case of their untimely death. As a result, young adults should start planning their estates immediately for a variety of reasons.
First, drafting a will allows the author to designate a particular person to make important decisions in the place of the individual. Such designation assures that the individual’s wishes are known and considered, despite any unfortunate circumstances that might otherwise deter such abilities.
Second, drafting a will allows a young adult to designate their assets, including digital ones, which are often-times forgotten. Naturally, many young adults are burdened with tremendous amounts of student debt. As a result, many do not understand the importance of cataloguing and designating their assets simply because most do not realize that they logistically have any to give. In 2019, a management study suggested that nearly 49% of individuals without any estate planning documents in place failed to create a will because they believed they had no valuable assets to convey; however, many people forget to consider daily luxuries like vehicles, real estate property, jewelry, or inheritances. Regardless, it is extremely important to plan the distribution of these daily assets so that the desired people receive them. Often forgotten, digital assets are becoming more and more contested as people forget to consider such items before death. Digital assets can include, but are not limited to, photographs, hard drives, work files, and social media accounts. As a result, it is more important now than ever before to inform family members where and how to locate information regarding these digital assets. With a will, these assets become even more accessible for the right people.
Third, drafting a will allows a young person to designate pet ownership after the individual’s death. Although many young adults do not have children, pet ownership is on the rise among the younger generations. To many young couples, pets are the millennial equivalent to children. Just like traditional parents typically establish a guardianship plan for human children in case of one or both of their deaths, pet parents should establish similar plans as well. As the number of household pets grows across the country, more people are establishing ownership for their pets in their own wills to ensure their pet’s survival after the owner’s death.
The modern world now demands more young adults than ever before. With an increased need for education and a general demand for experienced workers, young adults are too commonly stretched thin for little pay and minimal benefits. Estate planning aims to help smooth the path ahead and avoid complications caused by lack of proper preparation. Consequently, it is crucial that young adults engage in critical estate management to secure their presents and promote their futures.