If you are like most young adults, you probably have not devoted much time to planning for what will happen to your estate when you die. Why should you? You’re young and have a lifetime in which to do your planning, right? Wrong. Just because you are young it doesn’t mean that you can afford to put this off until later. So what estate planning tools should you consider?
Healthcare Power of Attorney
This legal document allows you to control who will make medical decisions for you, should you be unable to do so because you’re incapacitated. Most young adults don’t realize that their parent(s) will not be able to make medical decisions on their behalf after they turn eighteen, unless one or both parents are granted a healthcare power of attorney.
Allowing you to set out your medical wishes in writing, the living will can be used in place of designating a healthcare power of attorney. If you complete a living will, be sure to register it with the U.S. Living Will Registry. The Registry serves as a national database of living wills, accessible by any healthcare provider in the country.
Financial Power of Attorney
Similar to the healthcare power of attorney, this legal document grants its recipient the power to make decisions about your finances. This power has quite a broad reach so make sure you completely trust its recipient.
Last Will and Testament
A will allows you to designate who will receive your property when you die. If you don’t create one, your property will be distributed according to your state’s intestacy laws.