Whether newlyweds or a few years into marriage, young couples should start estate planning as soon as possible.
While the number of people aged 18 to 34 with estate plans has risen, only 24% actually have them, according to a Caring.com survey. Three key reasons to start planning now include:
1. Choosing a guardian for your children
Life does not always unfold how people would like. If both parents die, what happens to the children? By creating an estate plan, a couple decides who will raise their children. Without this properly documented, the courts decided who should take over guardianship of the children.
2. Dividing your assets
Whether a couple has kids or not, they likely have assets. Many of the assets will get automatically transferred to the surviving spouse, but it comes with no guarantee that all of them will. Sitting down and listing all property and assets ensures it gets divided the way the couple wants. This can include provisions for charitable donations and who will take care of a pet.
2. Minimizing court costs and fees
Even a small estate may lead to big costs after death. When no will exists, some of the assets may end up in court. That means dealing with additional expenses on top of dealing with the grief of losing someone so young. Some of those costs include estate settlement in probate court, tax liability and loss of financial support for child-rearing.
While young couples should focus on building the life they have ahead of them, should also account for the what-ifs that life brings.