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Estate planning when you’re young: Do these 3 things

Many people believe that estate planning is something that can wait until later in life. They continually tell themselves that there is plenty of time to take care of this in the future, such as when they start a family or close in on retirement age.

There is no law stating that you have to create an estate plan at a young age (or at all), but it's important to get started with this as soon as possible.

Estate planning when you're young, such as in your 20s or 30s means many things. Here are three steps you can take to get on the right track:

  • Name the right agent and executor: For example, if you create a health care power of attorney, you'll need to name an agent to carry out your wishes in the event that you become incapacitated. Just the same, the executor of your will or trust is important, as this person steps in after you have passed to complete a variety of tasks.
  • Think about the best beneficiary: As a young adult, the person or people you name as beneficiary may not be cut and dried. If you're married, naming your spouse as the beneficiary of everything is easy enough. But if you're young and single, you need to consider other options. For example, a sibling or parent may make the most sense.
  • Realize that things change quickly: When you're young, your life changes quickly. One year you're living by yourself, but the next you have a spouse with a child on the way. Since things change quickly in your life, it's imperative to review your estate plan annually. Furthermore, if you experience a major life change, such as marriage, don't hesitate to review your estate plan and make the necessary changes.

Estate planning at a young age can be stressful, but that doesn't mean you should avoid it altogether and wait until later in your life to take action. This is a mistake that could backfire.

Once you have the basics in place, you can continue to build on your estate plan as the years go by. Changes will be necessary every now and again, but with each one you give yourself and your loved ones peace of mind.

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