Why should a younger person consider estate planning?

Although Californians can take legal estate planning steps as soon as they reach adulthood, many young people put off even writing a will.  There may be many reason for the delay.

Young people are typically in good health, and they may think that an estate plan would accomplish little since they do not have a lot of property that would pass through probate.

However, there are many reasons why younger people, couples and singles alike, should think about estate planning.

Parents in the Bay Area may wish to nominate a guardian

The reality is that an accident or unexpected illness like cancer can affect people of all ages. Tragedies of this nature can leave a parent disabled or dead.

While one option would be the child’s other parent would step in, there are many situations in which this is not realistic.

A parent should strongly consider nominating a guardian in his or her will or through another legal process.  In some situations, a parent may even consider creating a guardianship and naming a trusted friend or loved one as a joint guardian with the parent.

As a word of caution, though, nominating a guardian in a will does not mean that the court will automatically appoint that person. The court still has to decide the person who is in the best interests of the child.

Advance Directives are also important for people of all ages

Even if they are not parents, younger people may also want to have Advance Directives in place as part of their estate planning.

For example, an Advance Health Care Directive can officially designate a person to make critical health care decisions, even those involving life and death, when a person is not able to do so.

Likewise, in case of a sudden illness or accident, a San Jose resident of any age and state in life will want to appoint an attorney-in-fact who would have the authority to manage the person’s finances and personal affairs.