Your 20s are a time to focus on your education, the beginning of your career, and learning more about who you are. Likely, estate planning is the last thing on your mind. Is it too early to start thinking about your golden years?
Rather than look at estate planning as taking care of yourself, look at it as taking care of those closest to your heart. Learn why your 20s are a great time to start the estate planning process.
When you land your first job, you could have a benefits package that includes health insurance, a 401(k) and life insurance. If so, you must choose a beneficiary to receive the death benefit or assets. Take time to think about who you want this person to be and how she or he may use your death benefit or asset.
Do you have someone in your life whom you would like to inherit your assets, no matter how few assets you may have right now? Without creating a will, you leave it up to the courts to decide who inherits your estate, likely a family member. Depending on your current (and future) relationship with your family, you may not like the idea of your assets going to them.
Financial and health care decisions
Say you become incapacitated and unable to voice your health care and financial decisions. You need someone to speak on your behalf, someone you trust and who knows you and respects your desires. You name this person on estate planning documents called a “durable power of attorney” and “health care proxy.” Even without incapacitation entering the picture, you may need someone to handle money matters if you study or work outside the U.S.
No matter your age, you do not have to go broke planning your estate. Understanding the basics is a solid starting point to protect your peace of mind, your assets, and your loved ones.