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Estate Planning for Young Adults 

Davidson Estate Law Nov. 30, 2022

Parents talking to young adult about estate planningMany young adults have misconceptions about estate planning. They may believe estate planning is only necessary for people who have reached a certain age or accumulated a certain level of wealth. However, none of these notions are true, as any adult should consider having an estate plan regardless of age, wealth, health, or marital status.  

A comprehensive and well-crafted estate plan can ensure that your wishes are honored and your goals are met if something happens to you. At Davidson Estate Law, our estate planning attorneys assist young adults (and their parents) in creating estate plans tailored to their specific circumstances and lifestyles. From our office in Oakland, California, we help clients with a wide range of estate planning matters in Alameda, Walnut Creek, San Francisco, Berkeley, El Cerrito, and all across the Bay Area.  

At What Age Should Someone Consider Having an Estate Plan?  

Some people mistakenly believe there is a particular age at which one should start working on their estate plan. Furthermore, many young adults think it is too early to start worrying about an estate plan. However, there is no such thing as “too early” when it comes to estate planning.  

Life can be unpredictable. No one knows or can predict what life can throw their way. An unexpected accident, illness, or tragedy can strike at any time, so it is better to be prepared well in advance. Gen Z and millennials can benefit from estate planning like their older counterparts. 

Even if you are single, do not have children, and do not have many assets, you should still consider having an estate plan as soon as you turn 18.  

Why Should a Young Adult Have an Estate Plan?  

There are many reasons a young adult should have an estate plan. Some of them include: 

  1. You can protect yourself from problems. As you may or may not know (yet), problems can arise at any time when you enter adulthood, especially when you pursue a career, start a family, apply for loans, and go through other “adult” stuff.  

  1. You can protect your estate. There is a common misconception among people of all ages that having an estate means having a lot of money. That is not correct. In reality, you have an estate if you have any savings, bank accounts, investments, digital assets, furniture, jewelry, debts, or other assets and possessions.  

  1. You can give your parents access to your medical records. In California, your parents lose the right to make decisions for you as soon as you reach the age of majority (18). When you become an adult, no one can access your medical records, even your parents. The only way to ensure that your parents (or other people you trust) have access to your medical records is to create the necessary estate planning documents (namely, the HIPAA authorization).  

  1. You need to protect your own children. The need for estate planning is even greater if you are a young adult with children. You will most likely need to create a will to appoint someone you trust to take care of your minor children if something happens to you before your kids turn 18.  

There are other reasons young adults should consider having an estate plan. However, estate planning may seem overwhelming if you attempt to do it on your own. Thus, if you are a young adult, contact a practiced attorney to get the assistance and guidance you need.  

Essential Elements of a Young Adult’s Estate Plan  

Now that you know why a young adult should have an estate plan, you might wonder, “What should a young adult’s estate plan include?” Some of the important elements of a young adult’s estate plan are: 

  • Durable power of attorney – appoint a person to take care of your legal and financial matters on your behalf;  

  • Will – set forth your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets and possessions and name a guardian for your minor children;  

  • Health care power of attorney – empower another person to make medical decisions for you;  

  • Health care directive (living will) – detail your preferences for future medical care; and 

  • HIPAA authorization – authorize the release of protected medical records to another person or persons.  

These are the essential estate planning documents that an estate plan should include whether you are 18, 48, or 98.  

Plan for Tomorrow. Start Today.  

Planning for tomorrow is important regardless of age. If you are thinking about estate planning, it is vital to contact a knowledgeable attorney to get your matters sorted out while you still can. At Davidson Estate Law, we understand the importance of estate planning for young adults. Start today to ease the burden on your loved ones and get peace of mind. We proudly serve clients in Oakland, Alameda, Walnut Creek, San Francisco, Berkeley, El Cerrito, and all across the Bay Area, California.