Traditionally, estate planning isn’t a top priority for younger people. Many incorrectly assume that an estate implies excessive wealth, and applies only to those with a home, who are married or have children.
But planning your estate is a good idea for any adult, no matter their age or income.
No minimum wealth requirements exist to create a will or living trust.
Save your loved ones a lot of headaches
Even if you don’t have a lot of assets to pass on, or children to give them to, planning your estate is a great gift you can give to your loved ones. This is because, if you die without a plan for your estate, Georgia courts will create one for you, and this type of plan can lead to big problems for your family.
When a person dies, their property becomes known as their estate. A probate court oversees the process of settling this estate and distributing its assets to the person’s heirs.
If the person left behind a valid will, the will provides instructions for how to distribute these assets, and appoints an executor to be in charge of the process.
If the person did not leave behind a valid will, the probate court must figure out how to distribute the assets, and must appoint a personal representative to be in charge of the process.
In these cases, the estate is distributed according to the one-size-fits-all formula in Georgia’s law of intestate succession. After using this formula, a person’s closest friends may be left with nothing while their assets end up in the hands of relatives they barely knew.
Even if the assets end up going to more appropriate relatives, the process can be time-consuming and expensive, and the money to pay for it comes out of the estate. This means less of the assets go to loved ones.
Signs of change
There are some signs that young people are starting to think about estate planning. According to Caring.com, the past few years saw a 50% jump in the number of 18-34-year-olds who had some type of estate plan.
This is a positive development. Planning an estate isn’t always about hoarding wealth or building dynasties. It can also be an act of love.