One of the most common misconceptions about wills and estate planning is that you only need to think about it once you get to retirement age or older. Many people think that this process is only important when your close to the end of your life. However, having an estate plan is important for everyone, even young or new parents.

There are several reasons why young parents, specifically, should have a will and estate plan in place.

Why Do Young Parents Need Estate Plans?

When you’re young, estate planning may be the last thing on your mind, since it mainly has to do with end-of-life decisions and directives. However, when starting a family, it is important to have these plans laid out in order to protect your growing family. There are several elements in an estate plan that are important to have in place while your family is growing including:

  • Durable power of attorney (for both healthcare and finances)
  • Will
  • Life insurance
  • Beneficiaries
  • Guardian

Having these decisions, specifically choosing a guardian for your children, made and officially included in a secure estate plan will help protect your family should something happen to you or your spouse. Knowing what decisions to make and having these directives will help the process run smoothly and take unnecessary stress off of your family. These plans can make life much easier for your family and it’s important to have them in place, just in case.

This baseline can also make it easier to build on as your kids get older and your life develops. Your estate plan should grow with you and your family and you should have a plan in place and updated for each stage of your life.