The young often think of themselves as invincible in the sense that in their protected world, nothing bad can happen to them, especially with their parents around. Studies show that over 90% of adults under 35 do not have a will, providing reasons like:
- It’s not necessary.
- It’s too complicated for me to deal with right now.
- It’s too expensive.
- My parents will take care of all that.
- I won’t need it for a long time anyway.
- It takes too much time
According to surveys done by USA Life Expectancy, adults aged 15 to 34 rarely die from medical causes but the figures are high for accidents, poisoning, suicide, homicide, and injuries. This suggests that for young adults, death often comes unexpectedly.
A compelling reason to start estate planning is because once a minor turns 18, he or she is able to make all legal decisions regarding himself. He can choose his medical treatment, decide to keep college grades secret from his parents, and no longer ask permission for either of these. In case of an accident, however, the young adult will have to rely on other people to make decisions for him if he is unable. By deciding right now who you want to handle your affairs in case you are temporarily or permanently disabled, you retain control over your life and your assets.
With estate planning, you have the legal documents that allow you to name a person or persons to make all the financial and medical decisions for you. With estate planning, you have the legal documents that allow you to name a person or persons to make all the financial and medical decisions for you. Having these documents prepared is not expensive. A lawyer will be able to guide you in selecting this person and making sure that when you are better, you get control over your life and assets once again.
Parents who understand that this kind of situation can happen at any time should talk to their adult children even before they turn 18. They can and should introduce them to a lawyer who can explain what estate planning is all about.
Some of the documents that may be suggested are:
- Power of Attorney – This gives a person or persons the legal right to make decisions for you if you are unable to do so. You can be very specific about what kind of decisions they can make and even set the guidelines for making the decision so the person you assigned will understand you.
- Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care – This is a document specifically for giving a person or persons the legal right to make medical decisions on your behalf.
- Durable Financial Power of Attorney – This assigns a person or persons the legal right to make decisions on your assets.
- HIPPA – This is a legal document that allows your doctors to talk to your assigned attorney and family members about your condition.
- Last Will & Testament – This is a document that is read after your death detailing a breakdown of the distribution of your assets. You choose who will receive your assets after your death and any conditions you want to attach to the “gift.”
The word “durable” refers to a document that remains valid once you become, and while you are, incapacitated without the need for court interference.
Storing these documents is also important because you want them to be easily accessible in case of an accident or death. Included with the documents should be private information such as account numbers and passwords, bank account names and PINs, social media account names and passwords, and so on.
The estate lawyers of Estate Law Partners, LLC practice law in the areas of Probate, Wills, Estate Planning, and Trusts. Our dedicated attorneys will even make house calls if you are unable to come to our office.