By: Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
January 30, 2020
Estate Planning Isn’t Just for Parents and Grandparents
When you think of the actual word estate, it may conjure images of a gate opening up to a long drive way revealing a huge mansion with a butler over looking sprawling fields over a hillside. Or perhaps a scene out of Downton Abbey. Or you may simply be reminded of the savings and possessions your parents and grandparents have amassed and set aside for you and your siblings.
In either scenario, you’re not wrong… but you’re not 100 percent right, either.
These are the assumptions that often prevent us from believing we should start estate planning. The reality is, anyone who cares what happens to their surviving family and friends in the event they pass should also be planning their estate right now.
Unfortunately, statistics show that isn’t the case…
Current Statistics and Opinions on Estate Planning
A brief study of a cross-section of data from trusted sources is the easiest way to get a sense of how today’s young adult population looks at estate planning. Those specializing in estate planning, wealth building, and general trends as we age collectively tell us that there are far fewer people planning for the future than should be. Here are a few highlights:
- Only 1 person in 5 between the ages 18 and 34 currently has an estate plan
- Nearly 30 percent of AARP members say they “don’t have enough assets” for an estate
- Half of Wealth Advisor respondents claim the assets they do have aren’t worth enough
- More than half of them are nervous about finding a trusted estate planning advisor
Despite the general consensus, experts in estate planning know it isn’t just something to think about when you get older. Let’s take a look at a few of the most important reasons why…
You Should Be Planning Your Estate Regardless of Your Status or Age
While an estate plan does encompass monetary assets and other material items, it is also an outline of how you’d like decisions to be made on your behalf — before and after you die.
A Will – Because Life Isn’t Guaranteed
Were you aware than the leading causes of death among young people are accident-related? If you pass unexpectedly and don’t have an estate plan, you have no say in what happens to any property you may have socked away.
Your estate planning process starts with a will. Depending on exactly what your wishes are, this may be all you need for now.
A Medical PoA – Because Good Health Isn’t Guaranteed Either
Most accidents aren’t actually fatal. But they do often lead to permanent damage and/or chronic issues. If you become incapacitated, your estate plan would include directives on how to make medical decisions on your behalf.
This is usually in the form of a Medical Power of Attorney (or PoA). Otherwise, your closest relative who may be an angel or terrible human being will probably wind up making your decisions.
Other Common Powers of Attorney
Two of the most commonly addressed powers of attorney when initially planning an estate are “financial” and “immediate.” In both scenarios, this names the party you feel would best protect your assets in case you become incapacitated.
A Financial PoA typically allows someone to make financial decisions on your behalf while you are still alive. Immediate (or “Spring”) PoAs typically provide permission to act under specific circumstances. Florida no longer allows springing powers of attorney unless they were executed before the law changed or validly executed in another state that does honor that provision.
Your will, your medical and financial directives – these are only a couple of examples of what goes into planning an estate. For more information about the elements that might be included in your personal estate plan, reach out.
We’re here to help you accomplish your estate planning goals and provide you with peace of mind that your future is set.
Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
Strategic Planning With Purpose®
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