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You Need an Estate Plan – Even if You Don't Have an "Estate"

January 8, 2018
By Sarah Einowski

Estate planning is not just for the "leisure class." People in their 30s and 40s often fail to do any estate planning because they assume that they do not have enough wealth to worry about. Burdened by school debt, mortgages, child expenses, and the general busy-ness of the day to day (not to mention a natural aversion to thinking about death), meeting with an estate planning attorney is often the furthest thing from a millennial's or gen-xer's mind. But estate planning and preparing for the unexpected is important - even if your "estate" is limited. 
 
Some young adults do recognize the importance of estate planning, but believe they can just do it themselves online. While such do-it-yourself estate planning websites may be easy to find, the resulting documents can often create more problems than they solve. A mistake in finalizing a will or language that is vague (or missing) may invalidate the document altogether, and leave a family in a protracted and expensive legal fight. Estate planning documents are not a one-size-fits-all proposition.
 
If you have young children, the most obvious reason for an estate plan is to decide who will take care of your children after your death. Simply filling in a blank on an online form does not guarantee that your wishes will be upheld, and could lead to a court battle and additional trauma for your family.   
 
An estate planning attorney can also help you plan for something short of death: disability. By planning ahead, you choose who will make financial and healthcare decisions for you if you are no longer able to. If you become incapacitated and do not have a healthcare directive, no one can make healthcare decisions for you without a court order.
 
Here at Tonkon, our Estate Planning Practice Group offers an Emerging Estate Plan for millennials, gen-xers, and similarly situated clients. We have a simple questionnaire where your answers help us determine if you qualify for a flat rate. We then work with you to customize the foundation of your estate plan. Tonkon specializes in helping growing businesses of all sizes, and can address the full picture of your family and business needs, including helping you grow and protect your wealth and succession planning.    
 
While millennials and gen-xers invest in creating the life they want, too many forget to take care of themselves and their families by effectively planning for their own death and disability. Protect yourself and your loved ones by meeting with an estate planning attorney today.