Estate planning tools do provide solutions for elderly people who have some significant assets they want to leave to their heirs. However, the idea that end-of-life matters are unique to seniors is a misconception. If you are 18 years old or older, you should have some sort of estate plan.
Why? Even if you are young and broke, you should think about what will happen to you and your assets if a tragedy occurs. Here are some reasons you should start estate planning immediately.
What will happen if you need life support?
A disaster may strike at any moment. While you do not want to walk around feeling fear and paranoia all the time, it does not hurt to have some peace of mind in case the unimaginable happens. If you get into a severe car accident or develop a fatal illness and you need life support, what do you want to happen? Do you want the doctors to do everything in their power to keep you alive?
You can use estate planning tools such as a living will and advance health care directive to lay out your instructions for end-of-life care. Your friends or family members may not know whether you have strong feelings about life support. By putting your wishes in writing, you can be confident the doctors will take the right actions with your life and your family will be at ease.
Who will make financial or medical decisions for you?
If you ever become unable to make your own choices, you will want someone you trust to make them for you. You can appoint trustworthy people to handle your affairs by writing powers of attorney documents. This will ensure that only people you trust will manage your legal, financial and health care matters you are ever unable to speak on your own behalf.