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Why should a younger couple consider estate planning?

Many younger couples living in and around Juneau may not put a high priority on estate planning. For one, it may just be too early in life to think about a person’s decline and death.

Moreover, even if they show a lot of promise, younger couples often will just be starting to amass wealth and may not feel they have enough assets to justify an investment in estate planning.

An estate plan can assure that children are properly cared for

However, even younger couples who have little property can still benefit by making a legal plan for passing it down. Perhaps more importantly, writing a will gives parents a chance to nominate a guardian for their children.

It is rare these days for children to lose both parents before the children reach adulthood. However, these tragic circumstances do still happen sometimes. Moreover, there may be other circumstances in which the surviving parent might not be able to care for the children should one parent pass away.

Without the right instructions, family members might not know who should care for the children, and the State of Alaska may wind up having to get involved.

Younger people should also make plans for a sudden illness or accident

Younger people should also recognize that they could fall victim to an unexpected and serious illness or injury that could leave them unable to handle their own medical and financial affairs.

In this situation, estate planning documents, such as a power of attorney, could prove invaluable.

After all, even spouses are not automatically allowed access to each other’s individual accounts without some legal authority, and they also do not automatically get to make medical decisions.

For example, naming an attorney-in-fact in a power of attorney document can ensure that a trusted loved one is legally able to assume responsibility for the person’s finances and business affairs on short notice.

A person may also want to execute an Advance Health Care Directive to give authority to a person to make critical medical decisions.