Some people start planning their estate as soon as they have children, others don’t feel the need to start planning until they reach an age where they feel mortality creeping up on them; but according to the Wall Street Journal article “Preparing for the Worst”, it’s never too early to start planning your estate.
As the link above suggests, planning your estate does mean choosing who will receive your assets and care for your children after you die, but even if you have no children and minimal assets it is important to execute some estate planning documents. A 21 year old fresh out of college may not have any significant property to distribute, but chances are they do have an opinion about their medical treatment, and know that they want their bills paid if they’re ever incapacitated in a car accident. Also, if they have a job it’s likely that they have some kind of employer provided life insurance, perhaps even a 401(k); choosing the beneficiaries for those policies is part of the estate planning process.
We urge all of our older clients with children just leaving the home to call our office about minimal early estate planning for your young adults, because the best age to start planning your estate is the age you are right now.