Estate Planning

Graduation Season: Why New Graduates Should Consider Starting Their Estate Plan

Jun-04 2024

As caps fly and diplomas are awarded, a new chapter begins for graduates as they step out from the halls of their high school into the world of colleges and universities. Amid the excitement of living alone, new cities, and exciting opportunities, estate planning is probably the last thing on most young adults’ minds. However, beginning an estate plan early can set a foundation for personal, financial, and digital security that will benefit a graduate for a lifetime. Here’s why high school graduates should consider starting their estate plan.

Establishing a Foundation for Financial Responsibility

Estate planning is not just for the wealthy or the elderly. At its core, it's about preparing for the future, which is something even new graduates can benefit from as they start their journey. Starting an estate plan encourages a structured approach to financial responsibility, ensuring that medical decisions and assets—no matter how modest—are managed according to the individual’s wishes.

The Laws Change when you Reach 18

Turning 18 marks a significant transition into adulthood, granting newfound freedoms and responsibilities. It's crucial to recognize that with this milestone comes a shift in legal rights, particularly regarding medical and financial matters. Once you reach adulthood, your parents lose their automatic authority to access your medical and financial information. Therefore, it's essential to proactively establish directives for healthcare and grant emergency access to financial accounts to ensure your wishes are honored in unforeseen circumstances. Planning ahead empowers you to navigate adulthood with confidence and safeguards your autonomy in critical situations.

Benefits of Early Estate Planning

Control Over Financial Assets: Even if a new graduate has only a few assets, they likely include a bank account. An estate plan helps manage financial assets in case of unforeseen circumstances, ensuring they are distributed according to the person’s wishes and not in a manner dictated by state laws.

Healthcare Decisions: Estate planning also includes setting up directives for healthcare. Graduates can specify their preferences for medical care in situations where they might not be able to make decisions for themselves. This is crucial for anyone, regardless of age.

Digital Asset Management: By starting their estate plan early, high school graduates can ensure that their digital assets, including social media accounts and online financial accounts, are managed and protected according to their wishes, providing peace of mind for themselves and their loved ones in an increasingly digital world

Starting Simple

The good news is, starting an estate plan doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. It begins with understanding what assets you have and what your needs are, then deciding how you want them handled. At GoodTrust, we make the process straightforward and affordable. Estate planning should be viewed as a basic aspect of managing adult responsibilities. Just as graduates plan their next steps, they should also plan ahead for an emergency. This not only prepares them for the future but also provides peace of mind knowing that, should anything unexpected happen, they are prepared and their wishes will be respected. As graduates celebrate their achievements and look forward to new beginnings, they should also plan ahead to protect what matters.

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