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Am I too young for an estate plan?

Florida is one of America's most popular retirement locales, so it's no wonder that many legal services here target the elderly. However, for those who are studying in college, beginning their professional lives, or just starting a family, estate planning can be a useful tool.

No, estate planning is not just for the wealthy or elderly. With a properly executed estate plan, you can make sure that your property receives exactly the treatment you want, and also defines your end-of-life wishes in case the unthinkable happens.

While estate planning can help those who have built up significant assets to handle them more efficiently, even those who have very few assets can experience benefits.

It's never too early for an end-of-life plan

If you are younger than about 40 or 50 years old, you may not often consider the fact that you may die suddenly at any time. While this is certainly a morose fact, it is also true. Each year, thousands of young and middle-aged people die without any kind of estate plan, often leaving the state to determine who must get their property.

Furthermore, no one will know exactly how you feel about many end-of-life decisions, or have authority to make choices on your behalf, if you do not make it clear in writing.

What if a terrible car accident leaves you in a coma? Unless you make it clear that you do or do not want life support, your family may face astronomical expenses keeping you technically alive indefinitely.

Similarly, if you wish to be buried with your complete collection of Wilco records (including that 4-LP box set of Kicking Television, the jewel of your collection), this will certainly not happen if you do not make those wishes known in a legally proper way.

A relatively small estate is still an estate worth protecting

You do not have to wait until you have a well-diversified portfolio or buy a cabin on the lake to benefit from an estate plan. An estate plan is certainly appropriate if you own a home, or if you get married.

Maybe you think that you need to wait until you have a child to have an estate plan, but this is not the case.

Maybe all you really own is your car, your record collection, and the record player and Hi-Fi your granddad gave you. If you pass away suddenly, the state must determine who gets all of those items, and may not choose whom you most want to have them.

Do you have a dear friend you know would most appreciate that record collection? Maybe your younger brother should get the car. The state will certainly not understand the sentimental and relational value of some of your estate.

Build a strong plan with experienced help

No matter what your station in life, you can probably benefit from a strong estate plan. A good estate plan serves as a basis for a more detailed and complex plan as your career and life grow, while protecting your rights and wishes now.

An experienced attorney can guide you through the process of building the perfect plan for your circumstances, ensuring that your family is not left at the mercy of the state if you die too soon.

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