Young, healthy people with modest means can benefit from estate planning largely for the same reasons wealthier, older people benefit from estate planning.
First, estate planning takes disability into consideration – not just death. If, for example, a young person is rendered unconscious after a car accident, the living will (aka advance directive), will govern whether medical treatment is provided. Therefore, in New York it is prudent for any person over the age of 18 to start basic estate planning including a Health Care Proxy (appointing people to make decisions in the event of incapacity) and Living Will.
Second, young people may wish to control the disposition of their assets after their death. Though their assets may not be worth billions, they may still hold value.
Third, young people may have charities to which they wish to donate all or a portion of their assets when they die.
Lastly, an estate plan is not set in stone. Developing a basic estate plan when a person is young can provide a solid foundation on which to build a more comprehensive estate plan as the person ages and accumulates wealth. It also begins a dialogue and professional relationship that can continue as the person ages. For example, when a person gets married, has children, buys real estate, buys stock and mutual funds, buys life insurance, buys pets, etc. these are all times when the estate plan can be revisited and modified as necessary to effectuate the person’s wishes.
If you have any questions about pet trusts, estate planning or any other trusts and estates related issue, please do not hesitate to call us at (914) 338-8050.
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The Law Offices of Keith R. Betensky, Esq.
The Empire Building
26 Village Green, Suite 4
P.O. Box 22
Bedford, New York 10506-0022