People have lots of excuses for not having an estate plan: They’re too young, they’re too poor, etc. Maybe you’ve been putting off estate planning because you don’t like thinking about end-of-life matters, or maybe you honestly believe that estate plans are only for the rich and elderly. The truth is that estate planning is for everyone. Here are some reasons why you need one.
1. You Are an Adult
If it happens that you’re reading this before reaching the age of 18, your parents still have the right and responsibility to make legal decisions on your behalf, and you do not need an estate plan yet. However, if you are over the age of 18, you are legally an adult, even if you still rely on the support of your parents for the time being. Reaching the age of majority means that the right and responsibility to make legal decisions passes from your parents on to you. Therefore, even as a young adult, you need an estate plan.
2. You Are Not Immortal
Eventually, sooner or later, you will die. You may hope that it happens much, much later, but the truth is that neither you nor anyone else knows for sure when or how you will lose your life. Because it can happen without warning, you need to get your affairs in order beforehand, sooner rather than later.
3. You Own Property
Granted, if you are young and just starting out in your adult life, you may not have much property. However, you probably own clothing, jewelry, electronics, and maybe even a car. Estate planning allows you to make decisions about who should receive these and whatever other personal property you may possess in the event of your death. This helps make the probate process easier on your grieving family members.
4. You May Not Die Right Away
You may suffer severe head trauma that leaves you in a coma, or you may develop a disease that affects your decision-making ability. Such an injury or illness may eventually kill you, but you may experience months or even years in an incapacitated state, unable to make decisions with regard to your own health care. To prepare for this scenario, you need a living will and/or a power of attorney. The former explains the medical treatment you do and do not want to receive if you become incapacitated, and the latter appoints someone to make health care decisions on your behalf.
When you contact a law office, an estate planning lawyer, like from the Law Offices of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood, can help you with your initial estate plan now, as well as any updates down the road necessitated by major life changes.