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  • Writer's pictureRuth-Ann E. Toups

Under 40? A Will is Just as Important for You as it is for Those Over 55

If I have heard it once I have heard it a thousand times: “I am too young to need estate planning.” Estate planning is not just for our parents. Estate planning is for everyone.

The most challenging probate cases I have handled involved the unexpected death of young people. None of these individuals had a will, or for that matter any type of plan in place. Their families were left to guess as to how they would like their affairs handled. Each of these individuals were in the most exciting phase of their lives: they had completed their education; they were new homeowners; they had started saving for retirement; and a few of them were even new parents. Each of these exciting steps added a layer of complexity to their estates when they passed—student loan debt, mortgages, retirement accounts, guardianship of minor children, and new business ventures left without a plan. What we often do not realize is that during this extremely exciting period of our lives we are most at risk for losing what we have worked toward for most of our lives. While an estate plan cannot remove the emotional pain of losing a loved one at a young age, it can help ease the burden of handling their affairs.

If you are a young professional, you need to have an estate plan. Do not put off your estate plan until you have reached that next life goal or when you plan that next trip. I often hear from friends that they want to wait to put their estate plan in place because if they do it now they might have to change it later. Estate plans should change with time as you and your circumstances change. However, it is much, much easier to make small changes and adjustments over time than to start from scratch. If something happens while you are waiting for that next be change, you want to be protected now. You owe it to your family, and to yourself, to protect what you have worked hard for by putting an estate plan in place.

If you need help getting your estate plan in place, The Toups Law Firm loves working with young professionals. We work with you, on your schedule.

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