It’s not uncommon for young people to think that they don’t need an estate plan because they don’t have that much to divide up. Regardless, it’s still a good thing to make sure your will is in order.

One common thing I hear is Why bother? All of my assets will go to my spouse. The spouse automatically takes half of the assets if the deceased doesn’t have a will — which could be a good thing or a bad thing because the remainder goes directly to the children. Other people don’t have estate plans because they assume that everyone is going to figure it out after they are gone.

Perhaps the most common reason some young people don’t have wills is because they can’t agree on who should be the guardian for their children. So what would happen if both parents die in a situation like that? The probate court would select the guardians of the minor children. On the finance side, the wrong people might get to be the beneficiaries and the taxes would be much higher.

With an estate plan, the client controls how and to whom the assets pass. The client selects the executor, the guardians, the trustees (if there is a trust), and who is going to manage any excess of funds.

A good estate plan usually contains the following components:

  • A will
  • A revocable trust
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Advanced Medical Directives

Taking the initiative in planning your estate allows you to be in charge. You can come up with personalized and creative distributions of your assets in addition to the more important job of ensuring your children’s well-being.