young couple with estate planning attorney

Why 30-Somethings Should Consider Estate Planning

Estate planning, like building a career and deciding where and how you want to live, is a necessary part of sound decision-making and, as such, is taken seriously by young adults. By the time you have reached your thirties, there’s a good chance that you have chosen a career path, found a comfortable home, and perhaps married and started a family. This makes it prime time to seek a skilled estate planning attorney to assist you in preparing for a successful, well-protected future. If you live in Southeastern Massachusetts or on Cape Cod, consulting with Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. is a smart choice.

Reasons for Estate Planning in Your Thirties

There are a number of reasons to consider estate planning now, including:

  • Having a plan to protect your assets and your loved ones starts you off on the right foot by preparing you for the expected and unexpected
  • Having the necessary documents in place gives you a sound foundation so that you can add other documents or make changes to existing documents as your circumstances change.
  • Discussing decisions with your closest loved ones early on can prevent future misunderstandings, disputes, and even will contests.
  • Estate planning gives you the gift of planning your finances to help you realize your dreams for: your children’s education, your retirement, travel plans, business succession, a possible vacation home.

Knowledgeable Estate Planning Attorneys Make the Process Smooth and Efficient

The younger you are, the more likely you are to be comfortable with computers, so you may wonder why you can’t simply print out templates of the documents you need, fill them in, and call it a day. There are several persuasive arguments against this idea:

  1. You no doubt use licensed professionals in other areas of your life, not willing, for example, to take the risk of handling electrical repairs on your own. Without the assistance of a knowledgeable estate planning attorney familiar with state and federal law, you may not accomplish what you set out to do, and may never realize your mistakes until it’s too late.
  2. A fully credentialed estate planning attorney has skills concerning asset protection that you do not have and will no doubt save you a great deal of money (not to mention time) by using methods (e.g. particular types of trusts), some of which you may know nothing about.
  3. As always, working with a professional means that you are being assisted by someone who has not only been carefully trained, but who also has a great deal of experience, in this case with probate, wills, trusts, and all other matters included in the discipline of estate planning. She or he will be well aware of the benefits and pitfalls of potential actions or inactions. 
  4. Some of the concepts of estate planning, especially if you are a high-net-worth individual or have a complicated family situation, may be quite complex. An estate planning attorney will be able to clarify concepts and explain details so that you can feel secure about your decisions.

Essential Estate Planning Documents for 30-Somethings

A first-rate estate planning attorney will pay attention to the unique elements of your case and customize your estate plan to meet your specific needs. Generally speaking, however, you are likely to need at least most of the following documents:

  • Will to designate your beneficiaries, your executor (personal representative), and name a guardian for your children
  • Durable Power of Attorney to designate the individual tasked with dealing with your money, property, and financial matters if you become incapacitated
  • Health Care Proxy to name the person you want to make decisions about your medical care if you are unable to communicate
  • HIPAA Privacy Authorization is to provide authorization for use or disclosure of your protected health information 
  • Advanced Directive/Living Will to specify what medical measures you want taken at the end of your life (e.g. intubation, feeding tube)
  • Up-to-date beneficiary designations on all life insurance policies, annuities, retirement accounts, and other investment accounts
  • Trusts of various sorts to protect your assets from excessive taxation, creditors, legal judgments against you, or for particular circumstances (e.g. a spendthrift child).

Estate Planning in Your Thirties Will Give You Decades of Peace of Mind

While it is pleasant to contemplate an extremely successful investment and frightening to think about incapacity or sudden death, in fact, both are possible and require preparation. By consulting a well-respected estate planning team like Surprenant & Beneski early on, you will be setting the stage for a safe and secure future for yourself and those you love most.