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The Importance of Estate Planning in Your 20s

Malm & LaFave, S.C Oct. 6, 2023

As a recent college graduate in my early 20s, I will admit, estate planning was the last thing on my mind. It wasn’t until I began working at Malm & LaFave, S.C. that I realized the importance of estate planning and the consequences of procrastinating it. Regardless of your net worth, drafting an estate plan when you’re young is an excellent way to make certain your assets, children, personal preferences, and even pets are protected in the event of an emergency. This blog post is for the 20-somethings (and beyond) who are looking to take the first step to prepare for their future. This article will outline key reasons why drafting an estate plan is important at a young age and hopefully inspire you to draft yours today.

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

            A will is one of the most fundamental documents in an estate plan. A Last Will and Testament outlines your specific wishes to be carried out upon your death. Wills are easily customizable to reflect your individual wishes. Pourover wills can be used to “pour” your assets into a trust upon your death. This is a good way to potentially avoid probate and lengthy post-death administrations. Wills can also be used to designate a guardian for your children in case something happens to you. No matter how few assets you have, wills can provide a sense of peace that your estate will be protected.

Unexpected Disability or Incapacitation

            The unexpected can happen to anyone at any time. Powers of Attorney for Finances and Heath Care documents ensure your wishes are followed if you cannot advocate for yourself. Having these documents prevents your loved ones from having to make difficult decisions on your behalf. Financial Powers of Attorney documents can include provisions that allow your agent to create a special needs trust on your behalf to help with the cost of long-term care.

 Health Care Power of Attorney documents will only be activated if two healthcare professionals deem you incapacitated.

Protect Your Real Estate

            Many young individuals, including myself, often rent an apartment, house, or still live with their parents. However, if you plan on buying real estate in the future, having an experienced attorney, like the ones at Malm & LaFave, S.C., to oversee your real estate purchase can be extremely beneficial. Attorneys can draft deeds, lease agreements, review an offer to purchase or title policy, and much more. Your real estate purchase can easily be included and protected in your estate plan.

Plan for Your Pets

            Estate planning is not just for your protection! It can also be used to designate specific individuals to care for your pets should something unexpectedly happen to you.

Prevent Mistakes from DIY Estate Planning

            In your early 20s, paying an attorney to draft documents may seem completely out of your budget. You might be wondering, “Can I find these documents online and draft my own estate plan?” The short answer: yes. Many third-party companies and websites provide estate planning documents online for little to no cost. Though some of these documents are sufficient, if not drafted properly, your estate may not be fully protected. These online documents also do not address the uniqueness of your estate, and specific details regarding the distribution of your assets could be overlooked. Contacting experienced estate planning attorneys can ensure your unique estate is handled and protected properly.

We get it. “Adulting” is hard, and talking about estate planning can be overwhelming. The attorneys at Malm & LaFave, S.C. are here to help. Each situation is different, so it can be beneficial to contact attorneys to determine what documents are right for you. If this inspired you to take the first step in protecting your future, contact us today at 414-228-5250. We are ready to address any questions you may have and begin drafting your documents.