Once your children turn 18, they are adults in the eyes of the law. This may be difficult to accept given that they are still so young and are still your “babies.” However, they will start to accumulate many adult responsibilities, even if they are still living at home. Most 18 year-olds aren’t quite ready to start thinking about estate planning, so that’s where your role as a parent comes in. There are many reasons why young adults need estate planning. Here are just a few.
1 – They Acquire Assets
Young adults start to earn income and acquire assets very quickly. Although most are seemingly small assets, such as clothes, jewelry, furniture, and electronics,… more valuable assets usually follow. Cars are commonly the first major asset along with some money in the bank. Real estate is next to follow. Young adults will often share/co-own those assets with friends or other family members. All assets need protection, but shared assets are particularly important to account for.
2 – They Accumulate Debts
From student loans to car loans and credit cards, your young adult children will accumulate some significant debts. Although some may be forgiven upon death, many do not. This burden could be left for family members to bear, especially in cases where you may have co-signed student loans for your children. Estate planning can help alleviate some of these burdens.
3 – Health Care Proxies and Powers of Attorney
If your adult children are not married, what happens if they become seriously injured or disabled. You no longer have parental rights since your children are adults. Healthcare proxies and powers of attorney would grant you access to their medical information and empower you to make decisions on their behalf, at a time when they cannot do so themselves. Read about 3 Ways to Safeguard Adult Children for additional information on this topic.
4 – They Are Responsible for Others
If your adult children have pets or children of their own, estate planning is a must. Only through an estate plan can allow your children to designate guardians for their children and establish ways to provide financial support for their heirs.
Summary of Reasons Young Adults Need Estate Planning
Estate planning has many benefits, no matter your age or amount of assets and debts. The above reasons why young adults need estate planning are just a few examples. Depending on your children’s circumstances, there are likely many more good reasons to create an estate plan. Estate planning can also allow you to retain some parental involvement in your children’s lives at a time when they need it most. Discuss estate planning with your adult children and contact us to schedule a consultation. We can help prepare a Massachusetts estate plan that meets your adult children’s specific needs.