Regardless of your age or circumstances, it’s almost certain that your estate plan will change as you get older.
When people ask us to help them create an estate plan, they sometimes have the mistaken belief that once they complete the planning process, they will never have to worry about their plans again. While having a complete estate plan is absolutely essential for any responsible adult, the process doesn’t end once your plan is in place.
Over the years you have to make it a point to regularly review, and when necessary, update your plan as needed. Today we are going to take a look at why your estate plan will change as you age, and what kind of changes you might have to make.
Your estate plan will change because young people usually have a very simple plan.
Let’s start with an estate plan created by a young adult. Let’s say that you created a plan soon after graduating high school, joining the military, or entering college. An estate plan created by young adults will not usually focus on financial concerns because young people usually don’t have very many assets. Instead, a young person’s estate plan will most likely focus on the question of incapacitation.
Younger adults are much more likely than older people to involve themselves in risky behaviors that can leave the person incapacitated or disabled. Because of this, the estate plans that young people create will primarily focus on the question of what they want to happen to them should they lose the ability to make decisions or communicate. These plans will include tools such as powers of attorney and advance medical directives that give others the ability to make decisions on the young person’s behalf.
Your estate plan will change because you have college loans.
So let’s say you decide to go to college. To pay for college you take out some private student loans that require one or more of your parents to sign on as a cosigner. Should you die before paying those loans, your parents will be responsible for paying the unpaid debt.
People in this situation will typically add a life insurance policy to their estate plans. The policy will name the loan cosigner as the beneficiary and provide a payout that will be sufficient to repay any debt you might leave behind.
Your estate plan will change because you get married.
Young, single people don’t tend to stay that way forever. As soon as you get married, you and your spouse will have to make decisions about what protections you need through your various estate planning tools. Inheritances, medical choices, and more can all be addressed through your planning tools.
Contact our Estate Planning Attorney
For additional information, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have questions or concerns about estate planning, contact the experienced Oklahoma City estate planning attorneys at Parman & Easterday by calling 405-843-6100, or 913-385-9400 (if in the Kansas City area), to schedule your appointment today.