Families & Young Adults
Estate Planning for Young FamiliesThe Time to Plan is Now
Thinking about an estate plan is sometimes the farthest thing from a young adult's mind. After all, it’s reasonable to assume you won’t need to worry about a will and other estate planning tools until you are older. But the truth is, estate planning is just as important for young families as it is for older people.
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Customized for YouEvery Family Deserves a Plan
At the law firm of Henriksen & Henriksen, we believe every family deserves a thorough estate plan – even young families. Our goal is to help you protect the things that matter to you most. Let’s explore some of the main reasons why we think it is a good idea for young families to consider an estate plan.
Your ChildrenIf you have small children, you have probably wondered who would take care of them if you were gone. An unlikely event, but accidents can suddenly leave children without parents.
Medical DecisionsThe unexpected happens. It is an unfortunate reality that healthy, happy individuals are hurt in accidents or harmed by illnesses every day.
Asset ProtectionAs you build your family you are likely to acquire some assets. Assets? Depending on where you are in your life, it can seem strange to consider the idea.
Hard QuestionsDeciding things like who will get your assets, who will make your medical decisions, and who will look after your children often requires deep thought.
Choosing Who You Want to Take Care of Your Children
If you have small children, you have probably wondered who would take care of them if you were gone. Accidents can leave children without parents suddenly. What happens after all depends on the circumstances – and Utah law. Ideally, such children are taken in by loving family or friends who will do their best to take care of them. However, there are times when that does not happen.
Choosing a guardian now is the best way to ensure that your children end up with people you trust. Some of the reasons you should consider adding a guardianship provision to your will include:
- Avoid your children being placed with the wrong person. Just like with healthcare decisions, the law can only do so much when it comes to guardianship. Without you specifying guardianship, your children could end up with someone you would prefer they not.
- You get to choose someone you trust. If you can’t raise your children, the next best thing is for someone you deeply trust to do so. With a guardianship provision, you get to decide who is right for the most important job you can imagine.
- Your children are less likely to get caught up in the system. Utah courts strive to protect children in their care. But the truth is, sometimes the child welfare system leaves much to be desired. A guardianship provision in your will removes any doubt about where your children should go if you are gone.
Deciding Who Will Make Medical Decisions for You
The unexpected happens. It is an unfortunate reality that healthy, happy individuals are hurt in accidents or harmed by illnesses every day. They are left unable to make their own medical decisions. For example, if a patient goes into a coma, they cannot make decisions about their medical care. If they have an Advanced Healthcare Directive, the healthcare team will use the directive to identify who the patient wants to make the decisions. But if they don’t have an Advanced Healthcare Directive, the healthcare team will have to ask someone else. They will go down a list of who gets to make decisions based on who has the legal right to do so and who is available. They will start with the spouse, go on to the children, and then move on to other family members if necessary.
There are multiple reasons why you likely want an Advanced Healthcare Directive:
- Remove the burden from your loved ones. An Advanced Healthcare Directive lets you choose who will make your healthcare decisions. It also lets you indicate your desires – like when to remove life support – so your loved ones don’t have to decide on their own.
- Decide who you want to make your healthcare decisions. You may feel much more comfortable with one person making such decisions over another. Without a directive, hospitals must follow Utah law and go through the prescribed list of candidates.
- Exercise control over what happens to you when you can’t communicate. Many people have very strong preferences when it comes to certain healthcare decisions. For example, some want to be kept alive at all costs. Others want to be let go once certain conditions are met – such as when doctors think there is little chance of recovery.
Protecting Your Assets
As you build your family you are likely to acquire some assets. Assets? Depending on where you are in your life, it can seem strange to consider the idea. But many younger adults don’t realize just how many assets they have. All of the following are assets that are worth protecting through estate planning:
- The family home and other real estate
- Checking accounts and savings accounts
- Stocks and bonds
- Retirement accounts
- Family heirlooms
- Business interests
- Life insurance
- And many other things…
If you have any of the above, chances are you want a say in how they are managed. A will and other estate planning tools ensure your wishes concerning your assets are honored. But if you don’t have a will, the Utah courts are most likely going to be making these decisions. That’s one of the major reasons estate planning is so important. With it, you get to decide what happens with your assets. Without it, someone else makes those decisions.
Managing and protecting assets is extremely important. Without proper planning, taxes can take a large portion of what you leave behind. The wrong people can wind up with things that you intended for others. Sometimes, families lose important assets altogether.
To avoid these risks, our firm can help you with a will, trusts, and other estate planning tools. Many people are surprised at just how much you can customize your plan to achieve your goals. You don’t have to stick to a one-size-fits-all solution. Once we know your situation and your goals, we can help you design the right plan to achieve those goals.
Asking Yourself Hard Questions
Estate Planning is Straightforward with Professional Help
We have some good news about estate planning. Although the personal questions you may ask yourself can be challenging, the actual implementation doesn’t have to be. The family estate planning attorneys at Henriksen & Henriksen have helped numerous clients just like you.
- We make the process as straightforward as possible. Our team strives to make Utah estate planning easy for our clients. Our process is no-nonsense and designed to get you back to living your life as soon as possible.
- We know all the right questions to ask. You don’t have to think of everything yourself. One of the great things about having our assistance is that we make sure all of the details are covered.
- We are a family-run law firm so we share your concerns. Our firm was founded in the 1960s by a Henriksen and is still operated by Henriksens today. Family is incredibly important to us – both our own and yours.
- We stake our reputation on client satisfaction. Our firm is trusted throughout Utah because we do things right. We are committed to client satisfaction and strive day in and day out to make sure you get what you need from us.
Here to Help You Protect What Matters Most
Family is everything. We understand that better than most. Our family are firm believers in the value of proper estate planning – which is why we encourage every family to do it. Our Utah estate planning services are designed to help you use the law to protect what you care about most.
We would like the opportunity to discuss your estate planning options. Our firm offers a free initial consultation, so you can speak to a knowledgeable attorney at no cost to you. Once we understand your unique circumstances, we can help you create an estate plan that protects what you love. Equally important, we can make sure that the services you choose fit within your budget.