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By Carey Thompson
Founding Attorney

Estate planning is an important step for young families eager to secure their future and protect their loved ones. It’s a common misconception that this process is only necessary for the elderly or the affluent. In reality, estate planning offers a pathway to peace of mind, ensuring that your family is cared for and your wishes are honored, no matter what life brings. 

Why Estate Planning Is Important for Young Families

Estate planning is not merely about asset distribution; it’s a proactive measure to safeguard your family’s future, especially when life is unpredictable. For young families, the importance of estate planning cannot be overstated. It ensures that your children are cared for by the guardians you choose, not left to the mercy of court decisions. It provides clear instructions on how your assets should be managed and distributed, avoiding potential family disputes. Moreover, it includes important decisions about your healthcare preferences, should you become unable to express them yourself. Beginning this process early offers peace of mind that your family will be protected no matter the circumstances.

Common Misconceptions About Estate Planning

Many young families believe estate planning doesn’t apply to them, thinking it’s only for the elderly or those with substantial wealth. This misconception overlooks the comprehensive protection estate planning offers beyond just asset distribution. It’s not about how much you own but ensuring your loved ones are cared for and your wishes are honored in unforeseen circumstances. Another common myth is that estate planning is too complex or expensive for the average person, when in fact, starting early can simplify future financial planning and prevent unnecessary complications. Estate planning is an accessible and wise step for anyone looking to secure their family’s future.

Key Components of an Estate Plan for Young Families

  • Wills: A will is a document that specifies how your assets should be distributed and who will care for your minor children in your absence. 
  • Trusts: Trusts can be used to manage and protect assets for the benefit of your children, potentially reducing estate taxes and avoiding probate. They offer a flexible solution for specifying how and when your children will receive their inheritance.
  • Power of Attorney (POA): A POA grants someone you trust the authority to make financial decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so. 
  • Medical Power of Attorney: This legal document, also known as a healthcare proxy, allows you to appoint someone you trust to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so yourself. It ensures your medical wishes are respected and provides clear guidance to your loved ones during difficult times.
  • Living Will: This document outlines your preferences for medical treatment if you become incapacitated. It ensures your healthcare wishes are known and can relieve your family from making difficult decisions during emotional times.
  • HIPAA Authorization: A HIPAA authorization form grants designated individuals the right to access your medical records and discuss your health information with healthcare providers. This ensures that those you trust can make informed decisions about your care.

Steps to Get Started with Estate Planning

Starting the estate planning process may seem daunting, but it can be broken down into manageable steps. First, inventory your assets, including properties, investments, and personal valuables, to understand what will be included in your estate plan. Next, consider the needs of your family and how you wish to protect their future, which will guide your decisions on guardianship for children and the distribution of assets. Seeking the guidance of an estate planning attorney can demystify the process, ensuring your plan complies with state laws and truly reflects your wishes. Finally, discuss your plans with your loved ones to prepare them and make sure there are no surprises.

Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney

At the Law Office of Carey Thompson, we are committed to making the estate planning process clear and accessible for young families, tailoring solutions to meet your specific needs with care and understanding. Let us help you build a secure future for your loved ones. Contact us today to begin your journey towards peace of mind.

About the Author
Carey Thompson has been practicing Social Security Disability Law Since 2008 after he graduated from Texas Wesleyan School of Law, now known as Texas A&M school of Law in Fort Worth, TX.  While at Texas Wesleyan he served on Law Review.  Prior to going to Law School, Mr. Thompson was a High School Band Director for four years using his degree in Music Education from Michigan State University.  Prior to Attending Michigan State, he attended Aledo Schools from Kindergarten to graduate.  Mr.Thompson feels strongly about serving the people of Tarrant County.