A lot of young people do not think about estate planning, but it is important to recognize that you have assets that need to be protected. Not only do you have assets that need to be protected, but you also need to protect yourself. You may want to learn about the different legal actions that you can take in order to protect what you have or protect what happens to your health or even business. This is always especially important to consider if you have children. You will want to make sure you turn to a lawyer that you can trust, as well as avoid making any mistakes throughout the process.
You may want to learn more about wills, trusts, healthcare proxies, power of attorney, and more. Check out our previous blog posts for an in depth explanation of the following. Even if you are in your 20's and 30's, you may want to make an estate planning checklist!
Many people do not want to think about them becoming unable to make their own decisions with their body. It is definitely very important for you to think about who you would trust to make your medical decisions for you if you were to become unable to. A healthcare proxy is an absolute must! Not only does the agent appointed get to make medical decisions if you cannot, but they also will have access to your medical records. This is also known as HIPAA authorization.
Legally if a situation were to come up like this, and you didn't have a health care proxy, your parents would not even be able to make any decisions without them being named as agents.
A living will and a healthcare proxy usually go hand-in-hand. A living will actually is a detailed statement of what you want in regards to medical treatment in circumstances in which you are unable to express what you want. This is also a must if you want to make sure that you are in control of what happens to you.
Power of attorney is something to consider when it comes to your finances. If you are unable to take care of your financial affairs, power of attorney will appoint someone that you trust to make financial decisions for you. They will sign their name on contracts and financial documents in your behalf. When it comes to estate planning, you definitely want to make sure that you understand how the laws may differ from state to state. For example, in case of power of attorney, in some states it can be modified and only activated upon incapacity.
A will is another form of estate planning that you will want to consider. This is especially important if you have children. If you want your possessions and assets to go to the people you care and love when you pass away, then you are going to want to make a will. When someone passes away without a will, state laws will provide a framework for inheritances. A will gives you the power to choose exactly what goes to who.
These are different aspects that you will want to consider, even if you are young. It's easy to just assume that you will be in good health or that you won't have to worry about making a will until you are much, much older, but this is definitely something you do not want to wait on. Protect yourself, protect your assets, and think ahead. Create an estate planning checklist so you can decide what is the most important legal document to obtain now, and what you will need in the upcoming future. Remember to always go to a lawyer that you can trust and make the process smooth and easy!