It’s hard to think about your beloved child having an “estate.” It’s difficult enough for us to plan for our own eventual death without having to contemplate the impossible – that one day our child will die and might first become disabled. Yet, our children grow into adults, begin their independent lives and become employees or entrepreneurs or artists and start families and responsibilities of their own. That beginning adulthood is the perfect time to steer them into a Young Adult Trust – a vehicle for ownership, estate planning, disability provisions, and creditor protection for their heirs that will function much as your plan does.
Why? Because they will have the same issues you have. Besides the fact, you probably plan to endow them with assets from your estate, they still have a lifetime of accumulating their own assets to direct.
Do you remember what motivated you in planning for yourself? Do you remember at what age you first began to plan your estate? Perhaps you were in your 40s, 50s, or older. As you learned how revocable trusts could help you retain control over your family’s wealth and therefore well-being, you probably had a moment or two where you thought, “why didn’t anyone explain this to me sooner? It would have been disastrous if I had died or been disabled before doing this planning.”
Further, your adult child may spend years out in the world without even a simple health care power that allows someone else to authorize emergency surgery or other medical procedures. This is perhaps less important if your adult child is married, for in some situations a spouse would be presumed to be empowered in some of those situations. However, a single adult has no one to make those decisions unless the appropriate document is signed and presented when needed!
So why send your newly minted college graduate or post graduate out into the world without the information you wish you had had, early on?