Many people in Virginia associate estate planning tools like wills and trusts with people at older stages of their lives. However, the reality of the matter is that even a person in their 20s or 30s can benefit from some form of estate planning. At any given time, a person may experience an accident or become ill. These situations may render them unable to make medical decisions for themselves and even to manage their own financial affairs for a time. At a minimum, younger people should have advanced health care directives and durable powers of attorney.

As noted by Think Advisor, even the increase in tragic events like mass shootings highlight the fact that young people today are at risk for being incapacitated without warning. By clearly documenting who should step in to work with doctors and other medical professionals during this critical time, millennials can protect themselves and make things a bit easier on their families.

Some young people might also find that a basic will benefits them by stipulating who should be in charge of their assets and debts should they die prematurely. This allows another person to more easily navigate the probate process, paying creditors and assigning ownership of assets. Millennials who have retirement accounts or life insurance policies through their employers should regularly review and update who they have named as the beneficiaries on these accounts.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give people in Virginia an understanding of the types of estate planning tools available to them and how people at different stages of life may benefit from different tools.