Tons of young women assume that estate planning doesn’t apply to them, or is just for elderly or rich people with yachts and millions of dollars. Believe it or not, it’s actually super important, no matter if you’re 25 or 65, or have one hundred or one million dollars in your bank account.
We hate to be the ones who kill your good vibes, but tomorrow isn’t always guaranteed. That’s why it’s so essential to be on top of basic estate planning, even if you’re still in your 20’s.
Don’t know the first thing about estate plans? Don’t worry! It’s actually very easy. Here’s everything you need to know about why estate planning is so important and some simple tips to get you started.
What Exactly Is Estate Planning?
You may be scratching your head and thinking, “What even is estate planning?” Simply put, it means creating a document that tells people who gets all of your stuff in the event you become incapacitated or die. It also allows a person you pick to make big health decisions for you if you can’t make them on your own.
We know, we know. Chatting about death is really, really morbid. But listen! This is extremely important stuff! You wouldn’t want a complete stranger getting your beloved car or all of your hard-earned cash, would you?
. . . .
Why Estate Planning Is So Important
Now that you know what estate planning is, let’s take a look at why it’s so important.
First of all, an estate plan will determine who gets all of your assets, including your possessions, stocks, and 401(k) money. The folks you’ll name on the estate plan are called beneficiaries. These can be close family members, trusted friends, your children, or even charities that you believe in and support.
Having an estate plan can eliminate messy family situations. If you have an organized estate plan in place with all of your beneficiaries listed, you can spare family members the unnecessary squabbling over your finances and possessions. We all hate dumb family drama, right?
It’ll be very helpful to have an accessible document with all of your accounts, passwords, debts, and insurance information listed.
Finally, if you cannot make decisions for yourself, it’s critical that you have a document in place stating your final wishes, including funeral or afterlife arrangements, life support decisions, and more.
Every person should have an Advanced Healthcare Directive clearly listed on their estate plan. This person will be in charge of big healthcare decisions, such as surgeries and life-saving measures, and sign on your behalf in the event that you can’t do it on your own. If you don’t have an Advanced Healthcare Directive listed, your parents will be the only people who can make these decisions, regardless if you have a healthy relationship with them or not. Having an Advanced Healthcare Directive listed on your estate plan is especially important for women with mental health issues, taking medication, or who live an adventurous lifestyle.
. . . .
Tips for Drafting an Estate Plan
Don’t know where on earth to begin? Here are some simple tips to help get you started.
Think about how you want your money and possessions distributed. Do you want your sister, partner, child, or best friend to get all of your items, or do you want to divide your assets up evenly amongst different people?
Name a trustee for your estate. This is the person who will handle the financial part of your estate, including paying the outstanding debts you have. You can name a close family member or friend as a trustee, or even a bank you trust.
Name an Advanced Healthcare Directive who will make important healthcare decisions on your behalf.
Write down your wishes for your funeral, cremation, or afterlife arrangements. Be as detailed as possible — if you want a cremation, explain things like your urns preference. If you’d rather a funeral, talk about different coffins or who you’d like at the wake. The more details, the better — it will help your family plan a funeral whenever the time comes.
As you can see, having an estate plan is essential for all women, even if you’re 25 and have only $200 in the bank account. Remember, tomorrow is never guaranteed.
Do you have any tips on estate planning? Leave them in the comments below!
Did You Find This Article Informative? You May Also Like: