Young adults in Ohio may want to consider creating an estate plan. They might assume they are too young to do so, but in case a tragedy does occur, it can save their loved ones additional problems. Estate planning is not just about who gets certain assets. It is also about what happens when a person becomes incapacitated.
This means that even when a person is as young as 18, a health care proxy and a durable power of attorney can be useful. These documents appoint individuals to make decisions about a person’s medical care and finances in case the person is incapacitated. For young adults, these individuals may be the parents. Later, the young person may get a job that includes a retirement plan and life insurance, and beneficiaries should be named on the documents for the plans.
Young people should also consider making a will. They may have few assets, but without a will, the state determines who those assets go to. This could mean that an unmarried romantic partner gets nothing. With these documents in place, the young person also has a framework to build on for future estate planning. If the person is balking about the cost of an attorney to prepare estate planning documents, it could be offered as a gift from parents.
Estate plans generally need to be reviewed and updated throughout an individual’s life. Changes in assets, changes in family members and changing laws all can mean the estate plan is out of date. One common error is for a person to forget about changing beneficiary designations after a divorce. Many years later, the person could die, and an ex-spouse would inherit the retirement account and other assets instead of the person’s current family. Family births, deaths and marriages are also reasons to review and update the plan.