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Estate planning needs of younger adults

Although estate planning may stir thoughts of aging parents in the minds of young Delaware residents, anyone of sufficient age to create an estate plan should consider doing so. The idea of assigning the passage of one's high school mementos on to parents or friends might seem premature, but issues such as life support and medical decisions can be formalized in an estate plan to ensure that personal wishes are known and honored if the need arises.

In the case of Whitney Houston's daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, there were apparent disputes over how her care progressed. An individual's statement in an estate plan through the use of an advance directive is ideal for ensuring that the responsibility for any important decisions is clearly indicated. Additionally, this is an avenue that enables an individual to emphasize their interest in using or avoiding life-sustaining measures. The care of a loved one in a worst-case scenario can be emotional, but a health care directive can ensure that the patient's wishes are given the greatest priority.

Young professionals may not have significant assets, but even a meager retirement account or life insurance policy could be a point of contention for one's survivors. It is important to keep beneficiary information up to date, making changes as life events such as marriage or the birth of a child occur. A generation of social media users should also consider the manner in which such accounts will be handled after their death, providing clarification on who may access and use these resources.

Although many young adults tend to live without much thought of their deaths, the reality is that death can affect someone at any age. Estate planning can ensure that in case of an unthinkable accident or health change, one's loved ones will know how to handle important decisions. Legal input in creating an estate plan is important to ensure that it will be recognized as valid.

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