It used to be that the topic of estate planning was something that only older people who’ve already lived a full life talked about. The past year has changed all that. Younger adults are talking about and planning for the future in ways not seen for a long time. The health and economic concerns that have dominated 2020 have heightened the sense of the fragility of life for those who have friends or loved ones falling on hard times or seriously ill.
A recent survey by Caring.com revealed some startling new trends going into 2021, especially among younger adults. It turns out that those aged 18-34 are the fastest growing age group motivated to engage in estate planning, with the number of young adults having a will increasing by 69% since 2020.
Young people are now 16% more likely to have a will than those 35-54. Although the overall percentage of Americans with important estate planning documents has not changed, the upward trend among young adults is significant.
Important estate planning documents
When people begin the estate planning process in Illinois, they have real life concerns to address. Making sure to leave assets to loved ones, providing for young children and choosing someone to manage their trust or estate, or thinking about ownership and control of a business in the event of their death, are all concerns that motivate people to draw up estate planning documents.
A few basic documents to have are:
- A will, which designates the distribution of property to heirs, names a guardian for minor children and a personal representative to oversee the estate during probate, and provides for the creations of a trust;
- A power of attorney (POA) for property, which designates someone to manage property, give and transfer gifts, and pay bills on behalf of the estate owner, or grantor;
- a POA for health care, which appoints an agent to oversee medical decisions on behalf of the grantor. A Living Will Declaration is another option that does not involve a third party.
Other important considerations for people thinking about estate planning are trusts and ways to minimize death taxes, such as property held in joint tenancy, life insurance policies, COD, Totten trusts, investment portfolios and direct gifts.
Estate planning in Illinois
For individuals considering estate planning in Frankfurt and Will County, it is important to find experienced legal advice that will not only prioritize your interests and advise you of recent estate tax laws, but will give you dedicated attention to your unique concerns.