People often make the mistake of thinking they only need an estate plan if they have kids, a sizable estate or are nearing retirement. However, the fact is that every adult can benefit from having this type of protection in place.
If you are a young adult
A survey by the RBC Royal Trust Survey estimated that about 70 percent of Canadians between 18-34 do not have a will.
If you are part of this group, you can still have plenty to protect. You can create an estate plan to address issues related to:
- Digital assets and accounts
- Appointing powers of attorney
- End-of-life wishes
- Healthcare decisions
These matters can affect people of all ages.
If you are single
Most people would trust their spouse to do things like manage their financial affairs or make personal and medical decisions for them if they cannot do so themselves. If you are not married, the courts could wind up appointing people to these roles.
Without direction from you in the form of estate planning documents, someone you would not have chosen could wind up in these positions.
Further, you may have a partner or non-relative loved ones to whom you want to leave money or property. Without the appropriate legal documents, these parties may not be in a position to receive anything.
If you don’t have kids
You may not have kids, but you can still have loved ones who depend on you. Depending on your circumstances, you might set up a trust or earmark financial gifts for these parties.
For instance, you can use an estate plan to donate funds to charity or local non-profit organizations you support. You could leave savings or assets to siblings, parents and others who can benefit from financial gifts of any size.
And if you are a pet owner, you can use your estate plan to ensure someone you trust will take over as a caregiver. You can also leave money that this person could use to care for your pet.
Estate planning tools for every person
An estate plan can provide critical guidance and decisions during times of grief and uncertainty. No matter where you are in life, there are planning tools that can help you protect your legacy and the people you love.