Younger families in Cape Coral and throughout the Fort Meyers area who are just getting started in life may not see the need to create an estate plan.

After all, the property that they do have may be tied up in joint bank accounts, retirement plans and a home, all of which generally can be passed to loved ones without the need of probate.

Likewise, careful estate planning to save money in taxes may not be a priority, and it could be too early to think much about long-term care.

Floridians of all ages can experience a sudden disability

Sadly, accidents and unexpected illnesses like cancer affect people under 40 too frequently.

An accident or illness can, suddenly and with little warning, leave even a young parent permanently disabled and, potentially, unable even to make medical decisions for himself or herself.

Having a power of attorney in place will mean that a young person has a trusted friend, spouse or relative waiting in the wings to take over the person’s financial affairs and manage his or her assets.

This step can keep a family afloat financially during an emergency and can do so without forcing a family to go to court and obtain a guardianship.

Likewise, a young person who executes a health care proxy will give someone the ability to make important medical decisions on his or her behalf in the event of a serious illness or accident after which the person can no longer make such decisions.

Providing for one’s children

A good estate plan can also provide for one’s minor children should both of the children’s parents be unable to continue to care for the children, such is in the case of an accident where both parents get seriously hurt or die.

Ultimately, a Florida court will decide who is the best guardian for the children should parents be unavailable.  However, parents are allowed to designate whom they would prefer to act as the manager of their child’s affairs and property. The court will, for example, take in to account a deceased parent’s wishes if they are in the parent’s will.