Wills and trusts are only something you need when you are older and approaching the end of your life…right? This assumption is probably why most people think that our Tampa Bay will and trust lawyers at the Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall only work with retired individuals looking for the best way to leave their assets to their adult children.
The truth is that EVERY adult over 18 needs an estate plan. Some are simply more complex than others. The fact that you are young, starting out in life, or just starting to grow your family as a Millennial does not negate the need to have key estate planning documents in place!
Again, 20- and 30-somethings may not spend much time now contemplating the big “what if’s,” but they should be aware of the mess that can occur if they pass away unexpectedly or become disabled. Here are three very important reasons that estate planning needs to move to the top of your priority list.
- Millennials are starting to have children. Estate planning is critical for parents of young children. You should be the one to decide who will raise your children (and not the court system) if you and/or your spouse unexpectedly pass away. Also, you should plan and make sure that your children have enough financial assets available so that they can live the life you envisioned for them, if something happens.
- Millennials are waiting longer and sometimes not marrying their significant other. When you pass away in Florida, probate law attempts to leave your assets to your closest living relative. If you are married or have children, your assets will most likely go to them. However, millennials are waiting longer to have children and oftentimes choose to stay in committed long-term relationships rather than to get legally married. So even if you were living with your partner and have been together for a several years, your significant other may not receive any of your assets when you pass away without a legal plan in place.
- HIPAA Laws. Have you ever tried to call a credit card company or bank on behalf of your spouse only to be told that they can not speak to you without his or her permission? That’s right, even if you are MARRIED, privacy laws mean that you typically can not access your partner’s accounts and assets without written authorization. This is a clear example why every individual over age 18, whether you are married or not, needs to have documents in place that gives someone else permission to manage healthcare and financial issues if you are unable to speak for yourself. Otherwise, your loved ones will be forced into court for authority and control.
Here at the Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, we can help you anticipate issues like these so that you can determine how your assets will be transferred when you pass away and protect those you love, through every stage of your life. Please contact us today by calling 813-438-8503 to discuss your options.