For the younger set, death is perhaps decades away. But that doesn’t mean estate planning should be too. As several legal and financial experts agree, it is important for young individuals and families to establish wills — or at the very least, appoint a guardian for minor children in the event of an unexpected passing.
In the state of Florida, if an individual dies without a will, the courts will take charge of establishing guardianship and distributing wealth. And it is important to note that the judge in charge of a decedent’s estate will not be privy to his or her personal wishes. Instead, any assets will be divided according to Florida probate code.
The question of “who gets what” will be determined according to the decedent’s family situation. Generally, this means the estate will be distributed between the surviving spouse and children. If there are no descendants, the estate will go to parents or siblings.
For most young adults, it is preferable to have a will that names beneficiaries. A single 20 something may not, for example, want his or her estate to revert to a parent. By creating a will, he or she can instead leave money to a charity or provide for a best friend.
Parents of young adults also may wish to consider the terms of their estate. Leaving money to an 18-year old with no strings attached might not be a desirable outcome for some. Rather, parents may want to preserve those funds until a teen has grown into a responsible adult.