Broker Check

Estate Planning: How Young is Too Young?

| April 07, 2017
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It was one of those marriages that families discuss with an eye-roll. They were too young…and then they had children. Why does she put up with him? Why does he stay? Then there was a split and it was over.

Weeks later, before even committing to a divorce, she contracted a virus and died at 27 years old while living with her mother. Forget about going back to college; forget ideas of a new career, a new life. That chapter ended.

Unless you’re in the middle of it, you don’t realize a key truth: a new chapter begins. The girl’s parents discovered that the next of kin has control over everything that happens to their daughter, including possession of her ashes. The boy’s parents discovered that the next of kin is also responsible for the final medical bills.

Tempers flare, things are said that shouldn’t have been, and a situation evolves that results in denial of grandparent visitation for the next four years. This is a new chapter, indeed.

No matter the income level of a young family, an argument can be made that estate planning should be part of their expression of love. When children enter the picture, there is no question about it – making a plan is vital. This is not just a matter of who will raise the children, but what protections are in place for the family that surrounds them?

Money is an inevitable component, and a good plan includes trusts for the children that enable family from both sides to contribute in good faith for their future. This provides a voice for each parent in the event they aren’t around when elder members of the family leave inheritances that must be managed responsibly.

That young couple had made plans just like any other, and they had even discussed which family members should take care of their children if the unthinkable happened. The challenge for all couples is to formalize their estate planning in a loving, thoughtful manner.

Young and in love? Let us help you plan for the future. Contact us today.

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