Estate planning comes highly recommended for people with children, especially dependent children. Many financial planning websites, for instance, advise people that they only need life insurance if they have kids. Is this really true?
There are many other instances when estate planning might come in handy. After all, young children are not the only possible dependents.
Health care and financial decisions
U.S. News advises Americans to add a power of attorney to the estate planning process to ensure someone else can make decisions on your behalf. This document often comes in handy during the lifetime of the individual, if they ever become incapacitated, such as after a serious car crash. Otherwise, the person who receives automatic power may include an ex-wife, estranged parents or combative brother.
When people become older, they might get appointed a caretaker. Whenever possible, it is often a good idea to create instructions that caretakers can follow through with. Legal guardians handle all the affairs on your behalf, so you might get the opportunity to dictate anything from how to invest your money to how you want your meals prepared while you are still in good health.
As alluded to earlier, there are other independents you should keep in mind when considering an estate plan, even if you have no children. For instance, you might graduate medical school with $400,000 in student loans your retired parents might become responsible for if you pass away. Similarly, your parents or other relatives might have developed conditions that made them dependent. A good estate plan may help to protect them and provide their needs, should anything ever happen to you.
An estate plan might not protect against the dangerous possibilities that can affect life and health. Even so, it provides a good starting point for many people and offers them peace of mind.