While most people understand the definition of a will, few people in their younger days actually take the time to plan. They may, quite rightly, focus on their opportunities ahead and prepare for their prime earning years, but pay little thought to their estate and beneficiaries. Why is this a shortsighted approach?

For Everyone

Every adult, regardless of their age, should consider formulating some legal documents to protect their estate. While they may have few traditional assets and may still be embarking on a career path, they should still plan for uncertainties and the risk of an accident.

Early Starter

Those who are in their 20s or early 30s should think about formulating a power of attorney or a health care directive that can take care of their affairs, should they be incapacitated. Ill-health can sometimes strike, and an accident can happen at any time, but you should nominate somebody who can take care of everything in that unfortunate event.

Focus Time

As you get older and start a family, there's even more reason to have your estate affairs in order. You want to protect any children and your spouse, and should definitely draw up a will. This will determine how your assets should be distributed, and you may also want to establish a trust that can take care of long-term needs in your absence. There are various different types of trust, and you should take legal advice to determine which is the best approach for you.

Understanding Risks

This is also the time to have a cold, hard look at emergencies. How would decisions be made in the event of your incapacitation, and do you need to get somebody who is entirely independent of your family to take care of this? Remember, accidents can happen out of the blue, and your spouse may be involved, so anticipate the worst as you plan, just in case.

Regular Updates

This type of planning is not a one-time activity. Your life will undoubtedly become more complex as you grow older, take on investments or buy assets, and you should update your documentation as and when needed. You will want to ensure that your estate plan is comprehensive, understandable, and, crucially, actionable. This means that your trustee can take over if required and that your beneficiaries will get what they deserve without any other, unnecessary legal action.

Take Action

No matter your age, talk with an estate planning lawyer. They will help you understand the various forms of trust and draw up your will.