SCM NEWS & OPINIONS

Estate Planning for 30-Somethings

Contact: Jonathan G. Miller

For those of us in our 30s, one of the last things on our mind is planning for our eventual death. Whether it’s because we believe we’ll “live forever,” or because we’ll have plenty of time to think about it later, typically it is low on our priority list. Admittedly, as a 30-something I regularly put off my own planning for the same reasons.

It wasn’t until a close friend of mine passed away that I realized I needed to make sure my family was protected in case the unexpected occurred. At a minimum, I wanted to be certain that my family would not have to worry about finances should something happen.

Whether you are recently married, starting a family, or further along in the process, it is important you consider putting together a plan.  Because, in reality, we have at least as much to lose as our parents and grandparents.

Your plan does not need to be expensive, complex, or detailed, but you should start with the essential documents. You can then grow your plan as your situation changes and your financial situation improves. A good starter plan will include the following:

A Will. As most of us know, a Will dictates who will inherit our things when we die. More importantly, for someone with young children, a Will nominates who will be the “backup parents” of children if something happens to both spouses.  Failing to nominate someone can be costly, leaving the decision to a court who does not have access to your wishes or knows the relationships between your children and other friends and family members.

A Living Will. Different than a Will, a Living Will informs your doctors of your decision regarding the medical measures you wish taken if death is imminent or you are in a persistent vegetative state.

Financial Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone to act for you if you become incapacitated. This person would have the authority to make financial decisions on your behalf such as pay bills, manage assets, talk to creditors, or do anything else you want them to do.

Health Care Power of Attorney. Similar to the Financial Power of Attorney, this document allows an appointed person to make medical decisions on your behalf if you cannot express your wishes or make the decisions yourself. This document can also authorize them to obtain copies of your medical records.

Life insurance. Life insurance can be an affordable way to cover your liabilities so you don’t leave your spouse or significant other with a heavy burden should something happen to you.  Life Insurance can serve many purposes and provide for such things as funding retirement and providing educational savings for your children.

Having this type of plan in place can ensure that you are protecting your family in the event of unforeseen accident or injury. A plan like this is easy to create and maintain, and should be reviewed regularly as your situation changes.

 

Call to schedule, or come in for a free initial consultation to discuss this type of planning in further detail.  We will discuss all of the options, and determine what next steps are required to move forward.

 

Jonathan G. Miller