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Do rich, young people need wills? The answer is yes

The last thing on many young people's minds is their own mortality. Wills are for older people with children, right? Wrong. Young people who are rich and do not have children may not think they need a will, but they do. Otherwise, a Massachusetts resident's assets might not be distributed according to his or her wishes if he or she meets an untimely death.

A person does not have to be as rich as Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates to appreciate that friends, family and charities could benefit from their wealth. In fact, at least one charitable organization has seen an increased number of young people make substantial donations in the last decade. Some believe it is due to people like Gates and Warren Buffet, who made what is called the Giving Pledge, along with other wealthy people from around the world.

Without some estate planning, that money will never get to the charity of a young person's choice. Some say that anyone with at least $100,000 needs to take the time to put some plans in writing. Those plans need to outline what an individual wants to happen if he or she becomes incapacitated or dies.

Wills designate who receives an individual's assets when he or she passes away. However, estate planning consists of a myriad of options for all Massachusetts residents who want to share their wealth while they are alive as well. Knowledge is power, and it provides individuals with options. It is never too early to prepare for the future and consider how best to share good fortune.

Source: Reuters, "Estate planning for the young, rich and childless", Beth Pinsker, June 2, 2014

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