You can be 25 years old with a baby, 55 years old and happily married, or middle-aged with a few grandchildren; the need for an estate plan is still relevant. Life is unpredictable, but where your finances go should not be. An estate plan is a simple way to prepare you and your loved ones in the wake of a complicated circumstance. With a little financial planning, you can ensure that you will be in control of your legacy and how things are handled in case of your absence.
Estate planning is not just about property
Estate planning is more than securing your physical assets, such as a car or house. Included in an estate plan is a health care proxy. If you get in an accident that results in incapacitation, who do you want to make your medical decisions? You will not be able to have a say after the situation, so make sure to clearly state your preference now with a healthcare directive.
Estate planning squares away your savings and investments
It doesn’t matter whether you own a mansion, a beach house on the east coast, invest in stocks or have a 401(k). If you have a bank account, you need up-to-date beneficiaries. Ask for a “payable on death” form from your bank. While a will is still an essential piece to the estate planning puzzle, adding beneficiaries through your bank works well on short notice. This way your heirs can have immediate access to your account with just a death certificate and I.D., keeping your funds in the right hands. After all is said and done, it is wise to continue updating your will.
Estate planning takes your social media into account
In the age of technology, social media apps like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are here to stay. If under some circumstance, you are unable to access or control your own social media accounts, who will handle the accounts on behalf of you? Who will oversee the proper use or deactivation of the accounts? In your estate plan, you should keep a list of your social media accounts and passwords for your designated person.
Other benefits to having an estate plan
An estate plan is beneficial at any stage of life. Aside from physical property, digital assets and the login to your Facebook, young couples with children need a plan. In an estate plan, you choose your guardians. This is an incredibly important decision for not only you, but your child’s future. A careful, well-thought decision is crucial for determining who will ensure their health, safety and personal growth.
For the young and single individuals out there, donating some of their funds to charities is another honorable wish. Whatever aspirations or goals you have for the future, it is important to put your wishes into writing. Not only will this help you, but it will save everyone involved in your life time, money and overall reduce stress.