Young, Free & Will-less

30 November 2021

Our team of experts is experienced in drafting Wills for young people, and Lasting Powers of Attorney, and share below some of the most common misconceptions when it comes to younger generations and estate planning.

Often clients react with surprise when we advise them that it’s never too early to manage their financial and estate planning affairs. The two are intrinsically linked and a lot of negative outcomes can be avoided by getting the right advice as early as possible.

As you reach the later years of your life, it is more common to start thinking about what you want to happen to your assets and wealth, but there are some very good reasons why you should consider estate planning while you are younger.

Some common misconceptions include:

“I don’t need to worry about a Lasting Power of Attorney”

It is a misunderstanding that Lasting Powers of Attorney (or LPAs as they are known in the industry) are only used by the elderly who go on to lose mental capacity as a result of Alzheimer’s or Senile Dementia.

A Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf, which could impact younger people who are involved in road traffic incidents or other catastrophic accidents. In those incidents, the victim is often awarded sizeable sums of money through a personal injury claim, which is then managed by someone appointed by the court.  The application to court can be costly and time-consuming and the victim and their family do not have the ultimate say over who manages this money. All of this can be avoided by making an LPA. A Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney also ensures your wishes in terms of any medical treatment or preferences are followed. For example, whether you wish to receive certain treatment, utilise life support, or donate organs should the worst happen.

“I am too young to worry about making a Will”

Making a Will gives you certainty over who administers and benefits from your estate. You might not realise that Wills for young people are just as important as they are for older generations, and can help plan for the following scenarios:

  • You might have an unmarried partner who, without a Will, would not benefit from your estate.  For those who do not have a Will, the law says that your estate would pass to your children – and if you do not have children, to your parents. In order for your unmarried partner to claim any of the estate, they could potentially make an application to the court for reasonable provision, but this process could be costly and take time.
  • In your Will it is possible to state who you would want to be the legal guardians of your children should both you and their other parent pass away while they are under the age of 18.  This is often the single most important reason that Wills for young people are so important – those with a young family have a lot to consider.
  • With a Will you can also state when your children are to inherit your estate should you pass away while they are young.  Without a Will, the law says they would inherit your wealth at the age of 18 which some might consider too young.
  • An increasing trend in recent times is for younger generations to hold digital assets, whether this be cryptocurrency or an online bank account or investment. Traditionally, these sorts of assets may have been overlooked when considering estate planning, but by making a Will, you can ensure that your digital assets are passed on as you wish.

There are many more myths to debunk in respect of the importance of younger people getting their estate planning affairs in order. The above are just two examples of where a young person can find themselves or their family are in situations that could be avoided by putting LPAs and Wills in place. If you would like to discuss what other implications you might face if you don’t have estate planning advice, please contact us.

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