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Estate plans are prudent even for the young

Federal estate tax exemptions have risen in recent years to be more generous, which is why many Georgia residents believe that only the wealthy need to worry about their estate plans. A study from the American Association of Retired Persons suggests that only 22 percent of millennials have drafted basic estate planning documents like wills or trusts. Experts in this field may argue that failing to take steps to guard against the uncertainties of life is unwise, and they could point out why putting a rudimentary estate plan into place makes a great deal of sense even for the young.

Motor vehicle accidents leave tens of thousands of Americans catastrophically injured each year. Individuals incapacitated by illness or injury are unable to make medical or financial choices for themselves, but they can designate a trusted person to make important decisions on their behalf. Durable powers of attorney ensure that bills continue to be paid, and healthcare proxies may contain detailed instructions for addressing issues such as when treatment should end.

Prudent estate planning can also reduce transfer taxes and protect wealth for future generations. Estate plans give parents the ability to designate guardians to take care of minor children should catastrophe strike, and they can prevent bitter disputes between heirs by making the wishes of testators clear.

In addition to healthcare proxies and powers of attorney, trusts may be recommended by attorneys with experience in this area to young parents who are considering an estate plan. Trusts give benefactors far more control over how their assets will be distributed and can be drafted to protect heirs from the pitfalls of sudden inheritance. Trusts also allow estates to avoid the public scrutiny of the probate process. Once an estate plan is in place, attorneys may suggest revisiting it regularly and making appropriate revisions.

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