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Charleston Estate Planning & Asset Protection Blog

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Estate-Planning Tips for Adults Under 30

Many young adults do not consider estate planning an important factor for their financial well-being. They may assume since they are young that they have more than enough time to develop an estate plan. On the other hand, some young adults may believe they do not need an estate plan because they are not married, they do not have children, or they do not have substantial assets. However, it is wise for all adults to work with a South Carolina estate-planning and asset protection lawyer to develop a comprehensive estate plan.

Dangers of Failing to Develop an Estate Plan

Failing to have an estate plan can have serious consequences for your family and friends. Without a will, the state decides how your property is distributed upon your death. Furthermore, the state’s intestate laws dictate who is considered an heir. Therefore, your assets may be given to people who you do not want to receive your assets.

In addition to taking away your right to decide how your financial affairs are handled after your death, failing to draft an estate plan could result in someone making medical decisions for you that are in contradiction to your wishes. Failing to have basic estate planning documents, regardless of your age or financial situation, can result in the state and some family members having much more decision-making power for you than you desire.

Essential Estate Planning Documents for Adults of All Ages

Estate planning documents that young adults under 30 should make sure they haveinclude:

  • Will — A simple will is not that difficult to draft and execute. However, a will gives you the power to decide who inherits your property and how much of your property each person inherits. You can also make special bequeaths of certain property and include clauses for guardianships and conservatorships for minors.

  • Durable General Power of Attorney — If you become incapacitated for any reason, a Durable General Power of Attorney allows an agent to manage your finances and make financial decisions for you. The fact that you are incapacitated does not void the authority given to your agent within the power of attorney. Furthermore, a Durable General Power of Attorney can avoid the necessity of a court-appointed conservator.

  • Health Care Power of Attorney — Your Health Care Power of Attorney gives an agent the authority to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so. This document is very important if you want to make sure that certain family members do not have the authority to make health care decisions for you.

  • Living Will or Health Care Directive — Living Wills and Health Care Directives express your desires regarding life-sustaining health care and medical treatments. For instance, you may not want to have a feeding tube inserted or to be placed on a ventilator. Without a Living Will or Health Care Directive, a family member may be able to authorize these medical procedures if you are unable to speak for yourself.

  • Beneficiary Designations — Some assets pass directly to heirs without going through probate. Life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and some other financial accounts must have a beneficiary designation. The beneficiary designation identifies who will receive the asset upon your death.

  • Digital Assets and Information — Many young people conduct all their financial transactions and business online. Digital assets and information are becoming an important factor in estate planning. Your estate plan protects these assets too.

Contact a South Carolina Estate-Planning Attorney for Additional Information

Regardless of your age, estate planning is a wise investment in your future. Schedule a consult with one of our estate planning and asset protection lawyers today. A South Carolina estate-planning attorney can help you determine the estate planning documents you need to accomplish your goals and wishes upon your death.

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Wiles Law Firm, LLC helps clients with their estate planning needs in Charleston, South Carolina and the surrounding areas such as West Ashley, Summerville, North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, and John's Island.

Information on this website is not legal advice. Further, viewing of the enclosed information does not create an attorney-client relationship with Wiles Law Firm, LLC. Matters will be handled by attorneys who primarily practice out of our office in Charleston County located at 852 Lowcountry Blvd., Ste. 101, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464. M. Emerson Wiles, III is the attorney responsible for this advertisement.

Any result Wiles Law Firm, LLC may achieve on behalf of one client in one particular matter does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients. Please contact a South Carolina estate planning attorney or one of our attorneys with Wiles Law Firm, LLC for a consultation regarding your unique estate plan.

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