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October 15, 2015

Estate Planning For Young People

Estate planning is usually the last thing on any young person’s mind.  However, we have to be honest about the fact that tragedies can happen to anyone at any age.  Even if you do not need trusts to take care of any children or even if you do not possess many assets to distribute among family and other loved ones, there are estate plan options for you to distribute any monetary and non-monetary assets to your family.

Often, young people are in stages of transition in almost every area of their lives.  During the late twenties and early thirties, young people are often experiencing the financial stability that comes with full-time career work, including 401(k)s and other retirement plans, but they often have not yet considered life insurance.  They may be engaged or living with a partner and they may have very young children, or no children at all.  They may still have trinkets, awards, or other possessions that they have left at their parents’ home when they moved out for their own apartment.  While it may not seem that there are many assets to distribute or complicated trusts needed to avoid taxation on large bequests, young people still have very similar estate planning needs that an attorney can help them meet.  Everyone, no matter their age, has a right to determine what should happen to them and their belongings upon their passing.

Healthcare Directives

In the event that you are incapacitated by a serious injury or sudden illness, you would likely still want a say in what happens to you, for example, what types of treatment you don’t want, who should be in charge of making decisions on the fly, and whether you want life sustaining treatment.  Often, people without healthcare directives leave these tough decisions to their close family members, who may disagree about what the individual needs.  Young people don’t usually talk to their parents or even their siblings about what types of medical care they want in the event of a tragedy, and even if they did, their own directive is still best.

Other Directives

Young people are connected to the world like never before; social media is a significant part of many young people’s lives, not just for personal reasons, but also professional reasons as well.  In the event that you pass, you will want to ensure that your social media accounts are not neglected, but are dealt with tastefully and, possibly, closed down.

Monetary Considerations

As you get a taste of financial stability, your young family or your parents should not have to incur the costs of burial expenses if you can help it.  If your estate needs to be handled in probate court, the time and costs associated with that will also be a significant burden on your loved ones.  In order to ensure that you leave as little burden behind, a good effort would be to attempt to decrease burial costs for your loved ones by setting aside money for them. 

Another monetary consideration that passes separately involves the beneficiaries on any retirement plan you may have.  Be sure to think through who the beneficiary is; whether it will be your unmarried partner or your parents or someone else you care about. 


You may not have assets of high value to leave to loved ones, but you likely have a lot of sentimental ones.  Be sure that you account for the things that matter to you in a last will and testament, whether it’s a gift for your best friend or a collection of old awards you want your parents to keep. 

Youth should not prevent you from having your wishes met in the event that a tragic event occurs and takes you from those you care about the most.  Estate planning does not have to be for the old or the rich; it’s for everyone who wants a say in what happens to them and their belongings.  Be sure to contact Anderson Law Firm in Greenville for help and legal advice if you intend to take charge of your estate planning.