1. Protecting Your Minor Children
Simply put, it doesn't matter a person's age; if young parents pass away with minor children who survive them, someone else will have to care for the children until they can legally care for themselves. There is no telling if some drunk driver might make today your last day on this planet.
If you do happen to pass away before your minor children and someone Do you want the person to care for your children in the event that you are no longer able to do so to be chosen by you, or some random Judge that only has whatever information is presented to them in order to make a legal decision? Clearly, you want what is in your family's best interest, which is for you to decide who would best be able to care for your minor children in the unfortunate event that you pass away. To do this, you need to have the proper documentation in place to ensure that your wishes prevail concerning who will care for your minor children. Without the proper documentation in place, your local Court will decide what happens to your children in the event that you have not already provided the necessary guidance. This is the primary reason for which I advise clients with minor children to prepare a comprehensive estate plan.
2. Protecting Your Spouse
Here is a difficult question to ponder: What is your family going to look like if you pass away young? Do you think that your spouse is likely to remarry? Generally speaking, I would say that the answer to this is "yes." If you spouse does remarry, what would happen to that life insurance money if your spouse were to get divorced?
While it is admirable to want your spouse to be happy and loved in the event that you would happen to die young, you don't want their future spouse to hit the lottery if they ever get divorced. In this scenario, it is possible to protect your money and property for your spouse and your children with the right documentation in place.
3. Protecting your Money, Property, and Health
If you are a young adult who is not married, what happens if you become seriously injured or disabled and cannot care for yourself? Without the proper estate planning in place, Guardianship and/or Conservatorship court proceedings will have to take place in order to have someone appointed to handle your finances and medical care. This can be a cumbersome and expensive process that you and your loved ones would be wise to avoid, if possible. Additionally, the court, which bases its decisions based on whatever evidence is presented to it, may end up appointing someone to handle your affairs that you would not be comfortable doing so.
With a Durable Power of Attorney and a Healthcare Power of Attorney (also known as Advanced Directives) in place, these documents would grant your chosen Power of Attorney access to your medical information and empower them to make decisions on your behalf, at a time when 'you cannot do so yourself.
4. Deciding What Happens to Your Money and Property
When a person dies without a Will, that is called dying "intestate." When this happens, the State of Nebraska has already decided how to distribute your property using the guidance from Nebraska's intestate statutes. This means that you will not have any say regarding what happens with your property if you happened to pass away. If you are wanting to specifically give certain items, such as family heirlooms or other treasured property, to multiple different people, if you do not have the proper estate planning documentation in place, your wishes will not be heard.
5. Providing Peace of Mind
We live in a crazy world where anything can happen. We have to deal with stress and anxiety on a daily basis. Ensuring that your loved ones will be protected in the event that you were to die young can help alleviate some of your stress and anxiety.
Clinch Law Firm, LLC offers in-person, virtual, and telephone appointments for York County and the surrounding areas, including Seward County, Fillmore County, Hamilton County, Merrick County and more! Call us at 402-908-5699 to schedule a consultation at our York office, or feel free to schedule a complimentary 30-minute telephone appointment for a time that works for you here: Appointment Scheduler. Virtual appointments are also available, upon request.