When many people consider estate planning, the image that comes to mind is a couple who are nearing or within retirement and are sitting down to put their financial ducks in a row. This is one side of estate planning, but is not a complete picture. There are many in New Jersey who are young, single and wealthy, and who have their own set of estate planning needs.
For those who are young and do not yet have children, the topic of estate planning may not seem pressing. However, individuals should consider the fact that if they die without any form of estate plan, their assets will become subject to the decision made by an executor appointed by the courts. In some cases, the state can end up with one’s hard-earned wealth. For many, this knowledge is enough to motivate them to create an estate plan, even before middle age approaches.
Many who are young and wealthy but have no heirs would like to create a structure that would allow them to donate their assets to a charity or organization of their choice. This is an admirable path to take, but ensuring that one’s wishes are followed requires the creation of legal written directives. Having a will or trust created can give those left behind the ability to implement one’s wishes.
While many in New Jersey may feel that estate planning is not an urgent need, in reality it is never too soon to begin creating a plan for how one’s assets would be distributed in the event of death. In addition, having an estate plan created when one is young may make it easier to revisit the matter as life progresses and one’s situation changes. Someone who has given this issue consideration in their 20s and 30s may be far more likely to have a solid plan in place by the time retirement nears.
Source: Reuters, “Estate planning for the young, rich and childless”, Beth Pinsker, June 2, 2014