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Why would I need an Estate Plan? I’m not married and I don’t have kids!

January 18, 2013
Ok.  Perhaps you are a recent college graduate, with your new B.A. or B.S. degree and you are ready to take on the world and finally become a “real” adult as you enter the “real world.  You are single (maybe you have a special someone, but you haven’t married them yet), and you have not yet been blessed (or burdened, whichever believe) with children.

You’ve finally found a job (hey – at least it pays the bills) and now nothing can stop your youthful energy and ambition.  You don’t worry about getting sick – or worse - because you’re young and healthy (and, of course, invincible) and hopefully you will have nothing to worry about on this front for another 60 or 70 years.

But is that really the responsible (a.k.a. adult) attitude to have?  “Why worry?  It’ll only give me pre-mature wrinkles.” While this may be the popular response, it is not the adult response.  The adult response is to ensure for your health and safety as well as those you love and care about.  Now is an excellent time for a Basic Estate Plan – simple Will, Health Care Directive, and Power of Attorney.  In fact, they may make an excellent graduation, or happy first job gift (hint, hint Mom and Dad).

Now that you’re over 18 your parents can NOT make these critical and important decisions on your behalf without your written consent.  And maybe you don’t want Mom to make those decisions, but guess what?  Neither can Elliot, the love of your life.

A Health Care Directive will ensure your parents – or significant other, sibling, friend or other important person – will and can make those decisions on your behalf.  In fact, they will already be your decisions since you’ve clearly laid out what you want in the document.

And now that you’re recovering, your Power of Attorney will allow them to access your bank account and help pay your bills so while you’re recovering you won’t be evicted from that super-cool apartment you just found and signed a one-year lease with.

And should the unthinkable happen – you do not survive your sickness or illness -  you parents and/or siblings will have another document (your Will) to tell them how you want your assets (stuff) divided.  That class new 401(k) you’ve just started at your new adult job, that new (or at least new to you) car you bought last year for your job, even your legendary DVD/Blu-Ray collection you’ve been amassing have all been given a new home in your Will.

Without a Will, Minnesota statutes (called the Intestacy statutes) will tell your family how the state thinks all your totally-awesome “stuff” should be divided.  And guess what?  Your parents will be gifted your stuff first.  Not Elliot, the love-of-your-life-who-you-just-haven’t-quite-married-yet, not your siblings or cousins, but your parents get first-go.  Don’t believe me?  Just click HERE to read Minnesota’s Intestacy statutes.  “But Claire,” you tell me, “those terrible, horrific, against-the-odds events won’t happen to me!  Sure, maybe someone else, but not me.”

That’s true.

The likelihood of you needing these documents in the near future is slim.  But why do you have renters insurance?  Car insurance?  Health insurance?  It’s because we don’t know when something will happen, but as responsible adults (that includes you now) in the “real” world, it is important that we plan and spend the money on insurance (and estate plans) so it hurts less – emotionally and financially – should the unthinkable happen.

Contact me (Claire Tralle) to get started on your Estate Plan today.  Call: 612-787-2553 or email:

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