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Should you begin estate planning early?

As a young individual, you know there are plenty of areas in your life that require immediate attention. Maybe you still have some student debt to pay off, or you are looking to upgrade from an apartment to a house. Based on how you have seen your family or society work, you might have a certain set of expectations on when to place your financials at different points in your life.

However, there are some aspects in life that require long term planning. While there has been more attention placed around saving for retirement, that is not the only part of life that can benefit from early planning. You can also start estate planning as early as your 20s, however most Americans do not practice it. Over half of the country does not have a will or trust in place, and there are only 22 percent in the 18 to 36 demographic that do. The major question asked by millennials is what do they have to benefit from early estate planning.

Preparing for the unexpected

Most people in their 20s are just beginning their independent lives. Why should they already be preparing for the ending? Simply put, life is unpredictable. As much as you do not want to think about your death in the near or far future, you do not know when it will happen.

If you do not have a will or trust in place after you die, your asset distribution may not go the way you want it to. There is no set list on who you want your property to go to, and no friend or family member with a durable power of attorney to ensure that your final requests come true. Instead, all of the distribution power is given to the state, who will attempt to properly divide it amongst your family. You might have some issues with certain family members getting large portions of your assets, so it is imperative to create a will or trust with your preferences early.

Changing with the times

One reason many millennials often procrastinate with creating an estate plan is that they feel they need to have a definitive sense of who amongst their family and friends gets what. They could add more family members and friends down the line, so they feel creating an estate plan or will would be premature. You can change your estate plan as many times as you want to as you grow older. The process is flexible for any major events that happen in your lifetime that you need to update the plans for.

You do not need to be old or wealthy to create a will or trust. There are many places in your city where you can fill out the necessary forms and find someone that can help you make sure everything is accounted for. The system for creating a will or trust is accessible to any adult at any age. There are little to no excuses as to why you should not start planning as soon as possible. One of the key parts of independent living is planning ahead and becoming more responsible for your life.

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