If you think you are too young for an estate plan, think again. Estate planning is a useful topic for adults of all ages. If you have assets, you need to know how to distribute them after your death. Even though most estate planning information is targeted at those over 50, experts urge younger people to think about their assets. Further, parents of young children may benefit from estate planning tools designed to help manage savings, investments or trusts for those under age 18.

First, anyone over the age of 18 needs to designate a health care proxy or power of attorney. These important documents can take the place of parents, who have made critical medical decisions for their kids until this point. It is never too early to prepare for catastrophic illness or injury through estate planning.

Parents of children who have their own assets should consider creating a trust to manage their investments or savings. Children under 18 cannot have full access to the trust, so another trustee is required. This is a valuable requirement because it can help protect the assets from other parties. This is particularly useful if a child suffers a catastrophic injury or illness.

As children reach the age of 18, their role in their own finances needs to be clearly outlined. Sometimes, it is not appropriate to place a teenager in charge of a large trust with assets. Independent trustees can help protect the assets even as the adult child continues to mature.

Florida probate and estate attorneys may be able to help parents of children who have assets. Managing those assets can be an overwhelming task. Estate planning can increase the likelihood that a youngster is able to appropriately access his or her assets, based on need and maturity level.

Luis E. Barreto