For many young couples embarking on a life together, the idea of estate planning may seem at once morbid and excessive. Thinking about aging, illness, and even death is often incongruous with how it feels to be youthful and, in most cases, healthy. We feel little urgency with a reality that seems so far off in the future. In truth, an estate plan is important for all families, young or not, and especially those with children.
Unfortunately, misconceptions about estate planning being both unnecessary and cost prohibitive prevent many young families and couples from setting up estate plans when they ought to—and in the wake of the unthinkable, a great burden is left for their loved ones to shoulder. By consulting a reliable Michigan estate planning law firm and taking the steps now to set up a reasonable plan, you can prevent that situation and protect those you care about most.
What is an estate plan?
An estate plan is a set of legal documents that dictate how your affairs should be handled if you pass away or become temporarily or permanently incapacitated. Through careful estate planning, you can save loved ones from having to make difficult end-of-life care decisions for you without knowing your wishes, expedite your heirs’ access to their inheritance after you pass, and mitigate the fees, estate taxes and other potential complications they might encounter in the wake of your death.
A family estate plan is also essential for anyone with young children or dependents of any age. Perhaps most importantly, it allows parents to arrange for the kids and other loved ones who rely on them to be taken care of properly and safely in the event that those children are left without a living parent or guardian.
Estate planning doesn’t have to be expensive
Despite understanding the importance, still, some young families postpone estate planning over cost concerns. Fortunately, reasonably-priced options exist at a range of costs depending on your needs. Many reputable legal practices such as The Estate Planning Law Firm offer basic packages for under $100; your employer may even provide the service (or cover your fees) as an employment benefit.
What’s included in your estate plan?
Your circumstances, such as your marital status, your children/dependents, and your assets at a given time will dictate the documents needed in your particular estate plan. For instance, you may draft your first estate plan when your children are very young, and thus, designate a guardian to care for them should you die. Once your children are grown, that document becomes unnecessary. Similarly, you may acquire property, businesses or other financial interests over time for which it may make sense to establish a trust in addition. Generally speaking, an effective estate plan will include some combination of the following most basic documents:
Last Will and Testament
Naming your heirs and other recipients of parts of your estate and establishing what physical items, property, financial accounts, and other assets you would like to bequeath to each of them
Outlining your wishes about end-of-life medical care, such as if you want to be put on life support, in the event that you become unable to make or communicate your decisions
Medical power of attorney
Nominating a loved one or another trusted individual to make additional medical decisions on your behalf in the event that you become similarly incapacitated
Financial power of attorney
Authorizing another (or the same) loved or trusted individual to make decisions with and regarding your finances in your interest and on your behalf
Designating a trusted family member or another adult to become the temporary or permanent guardian of any children under age 18, if necessary, and/or arranging for care/guardianship of any adult dependents
Financial assets and trusts
Should your estate involve more complex assets such as businesses, real estate, considerable financial value or other interests, you may also want to establish a trust. While trusts are more advanced as legal tools go, they allow you more control and customization of your estate plan. Not everyone needs a trust, including most young families drafting their first estate plans—but only by consulting with a qualified wills and trusts law firm can you be certain.
If you need help with any of the following, a trust might be for you:
General business succession planning
Arranging for retirement from a family business
Tax planning/mitigating unnecessary estate taxes and other fees
Other financial planning
Designating conditions for inheritance of certain assets, such as accounts that cannot be accessed before a child reaches adult age or for purposes other than education, etc.
Get Started Today: View Our Packages
At The Estate Planning Law Firm, we offer young families in all types of financial circumstances affordable options for setting up the documents and other arrangements they need thoughtfully and effectively. Depending on the depth and complexity of your estate, we offer packages ranging from $99 to $1099, and can also customize to any unique circumstances. If you’re not sure what package is right for you, take our quiz to find the one that best fits your needs.
Our estate planning packages are designed to make it simple for both couples and individuals to plan – not just for after you’re gone but as you age. It’s never too late to plan for your future. Get started today.
Our online tool makes creating trusts, wills, and other estate planning documents quick and cost-effective, crafted by real attorneys without the fuss.
Through our online tool, you will be able to create:
A basic will
A comprehensive trust plan
Medical power of attorney
Financial power of attorney
Guardianship for your children
Advanced healthcare planning
Behind The Estate Planning Law Firm, PLLC is not a team of software engineers or an automated program. We are a team of lawyers with over 30 years of combined experience planning wills, trust and estate for Americans across the country.