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What is the perfect age to start your estate plan?

Many young adults hear the term “estate plan” and think that it is something to worry about later in life. The perfect time to start an estate plan is much, much sooner than one might think.

Estate planning is not only for the elderly or the wealthy. While individual circumstances will differ greatly, most individuals will likely benefit from starting an estate plan as soon as they turn 18.

Why should 18-year-olds have an estate plan?

Estate planning often starts with a written will that outlines an individual’s intent for distributing their wealth and other assets. An 18-year-old may not have a complicated financial situation yet, but having an estate plan in place can save the family from needless bureaucracy and potential conflict if the worst should happen in years to come. This is all the more true for a young adult who plans to get married or have children in the future.

What should you include in a simple estate plan?

While an estate plan is extremely important, there is usually no need to start with a complicated asset distribution strategy. A simple estate plan will include only the necessary provisions with the intent to expand upon the will later in life if need be. A young adult’s first estate plan should at least include:

  • A basic will
  • A power of attorney assignment
  • An advance health care directive

For many new 18-year-olds, estate planning may seem like a needless chore to put off for several decades. It is never too early or too late to start developing the outline for an estate plan.