Estate planning crucial for single professionals

For many people, starting a family is one of the first signs of becoming an adult. If a couple has children, often the parents will take the time to create an estate plan so that the kids will have someone to care for them if something happens. What about those individuals who do not have kids? Do they need to put an estate plan in place?

Many young people fail to recognize the importance of estate planning. They may have recently finished college or just started their first full-time jobs. They are starting to accumulate assets, and they need to be sure that they understand what would happen if they pass away unexpectedly.

Without a will in place in Tennessee, property is passed down according to Tennessee's intestate laws. This means that there is a very strict method of distribution, and the property must be handed down according to these laws. Your property could go to family members that you are having problems with, and there is nothing that anyone would be able to do to prevent this from happening.

Perhaps more importantly, young professionals should be sure that they take steps to indicate the medical care that they want to receive if they suffer an incapacitating injury or illness. If you are unable to make health care decisions in the future, who will make these decisions on your behalf? Do they understand your specific concerns and requests? A health care power of attorney and an advance care plan, sometimes called a living will, can allow you to specify what should be done for you in these situations. Another important consideration is your selection of a power of attorney, the person who will manage your finances in the event you are injured or incapacitated. If you do exercise your right to select the person then a court will through a conservatorship.

Some individuals try to create an estate plan by filling out forms that they find on the Internet. You need to realize that this may not accomplish all of your goals, and there could be significant gaps in your estate plan that place you and your family at serious risk.

It is important to work with an estate planning lawyer because this ensures that you have considered and addressed everything that would need to be handled in the event that you become incapacitated or pass away unexpectedly. You can save your family a great deal of difficulty that they would otherwise have to endure if you do not have a plan in place.

To learn more about the estate planning options that are available for your specific situation, please contact an experienced attorney. Your attorney will be able to discuss the various steps that you can take to create a plan that meets your needs, no matter what stage you are at in your life.