3 Reasons Estate Planning is Important for Young Families

Estate Planning for Young FamiliesEstate Planning for Young Families

There are a lot of myths out there about estate planning. Many people assume only those with significant assets or who are advanced in age need to worry about estate planning. Others assume estate planning is a do-it-yourself process unless you are rich. And others think having a basic will is enough protection for you and your family.

None of these are true rules regarding estate planning. It is something that everyone needs to do, regardless of their age, their financial status, or their range of assets. It’s also something that, in most cases, will be more effective when the process is overseen by an expert in estate planning.

One of the most common misconceptions about estate planning is that young couples and young families don’t need to bother with it. Sadly, postponing estate planning can create a great deal of trouble for your family if the unexpected occurs.

What are three of the most important reasons estate planning is important for young families?

1. Parents Need to Appoint a Guardian for their Children

Estate planning is important for young families regardless of whether there are children, but it’s essential once a couple has become parents. This is because not only does your estate planning affect one another and your assets, it also affects your children.

When one parent dies, the other automatically becomes their shared child’s primary guardian. But what happens if both parents die simultaneously? This situation might be rare, but it’s not implausible. As a parent, you must name a guardian who will receive custody of your minor children if something happens to you and your child’s other parent. If you do not appoint a guardian, anyone can apply to the court for guardianship. The court decides who becomes your child’s guardian, based on what is in the best interest of your child. The person or people who become guardians might be who you would have chosen, but there’s no reason to leave this to chance.

Creating an arrangement beforehand “just in case” also allows you to speak to your appointed guardian and other people. You can explain in detail how you want the situation to look should something happen to you. It also means if your child has any special needs, you’ll be able to create a plan to provide for your child immediately after your death and long-term if long-term care is needed.

For more information about guardians in Florida, check out this information from Florida Courts.

2. Young Families Need to Ensure Ease of Administration for their Estate

As sad as it can be to lose a loved one, it’s natural to think about end-of-life planning as we grow older. We all know life will eventually end. In many cases, as someone ages and their health declines, death is an expected inevitability. Mourning still occurs, but the loss is not a surprise. It rarely creates as big of upheaval in a family as there is when someone dies young. In many cases, when someone dies before they reach retirement age it comes as a surprise. Unless the person has a terminal illness, nobody expects a younger person to die.

What this means is that when death is a surprise and catches survivors off-guard, it becomes even more difficult to deal with the aftermath. Having to settle an estate, especially one that had no planning, is extremely difficult when your family is facing a great deal of unexpected grief.

Putting a plan in place ensures that if your family must deal with your untimely death, they won’t also have to deal with a disorganized estate.

One of the most important things you do when planning your estate is to appoint an executor. This puts one person in charge of the administration of your estate. It eliminates a great deal of confusion, and in some families, arguing. It also means you can choose the person who you trust and believe will be most capable of handling this task.

3. Young People Need to Appoint Someone to Oversee Medical and Legal Decisions

In addition to making sure someone can execute your wishes and care for your children should something happen to you, estate planning also ensures there will be someone to make decisions on your behalf if you are still living but unable to carry out your wishes.

Estate planning is just as important for the dead as it is for a living person too sick or injured to make medical and legal decisions. Young families must create a healthcare director and durable power of attorney. In many cases, these responsibilities automatically pass to the injured or ill person’s spouse. However, it is possible for a couple to lose the ability to make decisions simultaneously. It’s also important to solidify your wishes regarding financial and medical powers of attorney.

Having a plan in place, even if you have no reason to anticipate anything happening to you in the near future, is one of the best things you can do for your young family. Estate planning isn’t the easiest or most enjoyable activity, but it is necessary. The process is much easier and far more likely to go as planned if you work with an experienced attorney.

For more information or to schedule a consultation with someone who can help you and your young family organize your estate, contact Frese Whitehead & Anderson, P.A., at 321-984-3300.


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