If you were asked to visualize the typical estate planning client sitting in the lawyer’s office, who would you see? The stereotypes might include a fifty-something successful entrepreneur, sixty or seventy year-old retired grandparents, or even an eighty-plus year-old widow all planning how to handle the estate they will eventually be leaving behind. Yet young people, especially those with children, need to have an estate plan in place to protect their family in case one or both parents die.
Modern families are busy with the activities of daily life: juggling two jobs, attending sports practices and games with the kids, maintaining the home, and once in awhile taking time out for dinner and a movie. Perhaps all that they’ve accomplished in the way of estate planning is the purchase of a life insurance policy.
Even though a young family might not own the same level of assets as more established individuals, they too can benefit from the services of an estate planning lawyer. An estate planning lawyer can draft the correct documents needed to make certain that the children will live with the right guardians in the event that both parents die, for example, in a car accident. While parents might assume that the kids will live with grandparents or other family members if something happens, state agencies that oversee child welfare might not agree unless the proper guardianship documents are in place.
Young parents should have the legal documents that are needed in case of emergency. An estate planning lawyer can prepare durable power of attorney and appointment of healthcare representative (also called medical power of attorney) forms for a potential medical emergency.
Estate planning needs begin early and change over time. A competent estate planning lawyer provides the counsel needed for every age group.