Most people between their 20s to 40s think that they have their entire lives ahead of them. For this reason, most younger individuals do not engage in estate planning. Sadly, many older individuals hesitate to put together their estate plans. No matter how old you are, though, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain from putting together a solid estate plan.
There are several good reasons why a younger person should have an estate plan in place that includes an advance health care directive, a durable power of attorney, and a will and last testament, for starters. In the hopes of convincing younger individuals to engage in estate planning sooner, the following are some of the tricky situations that can be avoided by adequately planning for the future today.
The Capacity to Choose
One of the most common reasons why people decline to create a will is that they believe they do not have enough assets to justify needing a will and last testament in order to pass them on. Another common reason why people decline to create an estate plan is they are not married and do not have kids, so they believe it is not important how their assets are passed on. You should understand that if you pass away without creating a will, even at a young age, your assets will be divided by a judge and passed on according to Oklahoma laws of intestacy. Your assets could end up distributed in a manner you do not like at all. Failing to create an estate plan at a young age means if something happens to you, you will have no say about how your assets are distributed.
If you have minor children, wills can help you to appoint a guardian who will care for them in case you end up impacted by a medical catastrophe or accident. Wills can also be utilized to appoint a guardian of your estate who will manage any assets received by the child following your death. If you and your spouse die at the same time, it is common for your loved ones to feel overwhelmed by grief and have difficulty processing the situation. If no guardian is appointed, the surviving children could end up involved in a contentious family dispute over guardianship.
Creating a healthcare directive allows a person to appoint an individual who will make decisions for them in case they are no longer able to do so themselves. Even seemingly healthy adults can end up the victims of unanticipated medical catastrophes that leave them unable to provide medical consent or to make medical care decisions for themselves. While serious tragedies are known to occur, adequately planning for these situations can help to avoid undesirable consequences. This can also save your loved ones a great deal of time and energy fighting to make sure that you receive the appropriate care.
Contact a Knowledgeable Estate Planning Attorney
It can be challenging to determine what estate plan will work best for you. One of the best steps to take in such a situation is to obtain the assistance of an experienced estate planning lawyer. Contact attorney Jim A Lyon today to schedule a free case evaluation.