Estate planning isn’t something only older people do in Ohio. Young people could benefit from such planning. It might be wise to make plans to help heirs while young, since no one knows what the future brings. A disastrous situation could happen at any time. So, why not take preparations now?

Drawing up a will reflects a familiar step people take during estate planning. Upon someone’s passing, a will directs how assets are divided and who receives them. Without a will, the court makes rulings on who gets what based on intestate laws. Working with an attorney to craft a will might prove advisable for many reasons.

Be aware there are ways to transfer assets legally without undergoing the probate process associated with a will. Creating joint accounts or naming beneficiaries to accounts allows the assets to bypass probate. Stocks, bank accounts, mutual funds, and more can be jointly held or have named beneficiaries. Property can have two owners and list “rights of survivorship.

The young person does not need to be wealthy or have many assets to such steps. Even those with limited funds and a small amount of personal property could save heirs from a lot of trouble with proper planning.

There are other things worth considering, as well. Devising a living will addresses personal wishes in the advent of an incapacitating medical emergency. Someone in a coma or on life support cannot make decisions. The living will document, however, details that person’s health care preferences.

Designating a health care proxy is another option. With this document, authority for health care matters moves to designated person.

Power of attorney and a revocable trust are two other contracts worth examining. An attorney could explain how these and other documents work.

Young people could take part in estate planning steps. Doing so may take burdens and stress off of family and friends.