Three reasons young professionals need an estate plan

An estate plan may not be on your immediate to-do list. Your immediate list probably includes tasks like getting that extra project completed to set yourself up for a promotion at work, figuring out if a masters or higher level of education would solidify your professional growth and watching the real estate market for that perfect property. Although these are all good goals, it is wise to add putting together an estate plan to the list.

Why should young professionals have an estate plan?

The youngest generation of professionals, Generation Z, is expected to do big things. A recent poll from EY's 21st annual International Intern Leadership Conference found that 63 percent of Gen Z interns feel confident that they will be "both financially better off and happier at their jobs than their parents were." Great things can happen when candidates combine the motivation and training to make these expectations a reality. One example: financial stability.

One reason to consider an estate plan is to help better ensure long-term financial stability. An estate plan can do more than just guide who gets what in the event of your demise. Three additional benefits that are particularly important to young professionals and are not nearly as dire include:

  • Control if you get sick. One important set of documents within an estate plan are the power of attorney documents. These documents can be structured to guide two things in the event of illness or incapacitation: finances and health care decisions. Think you won't get ill? Think again. A car accident could happen at any moment, a fun excursion zip lining could take a tragic turn or simply crossing the street could send you to the hospital. In the event that you are too ill or seriously injured to make financial or health care decisions, these documents will provide guidance so that your wishes are still followed. Then, when you regain your health, you are less likely to find any unexpected surprises from well meaning loved ones that were trying to make these decisions for you while you were incapacitated.
  • Better grasp on finances. Putting together an estate plan requires you to have a firm grasp on your finances. You will have an excuse to organize these documents and have the information handy if needed for other matters.
  • Naming a guardian. If you have children, an estate plan provides an opportunity for you and your partner to discuss who you would like to be tasked with your children's future. If you do not choose a guardian, the state will. It can provide some peace of mind to know that you have some control in the care of your child even if you are not there to make the decisions.

Actually putting together an estate plan is best left to professionals. An experienced estate planning attorney can help guide you through the process, better ensuring the final plan meets your expectations.