Most young people feel invincible, as if they have their entire lives before them. Coupled with the fact that many individuals just out of college do not have much in the way of assets, this can cause many to feel that they do not need to take the time to concern themselves with estate planning. While in many cases young people have many years of life ahead of them, not all estate planning matters focus on the distribution of assets. There are two documents in particular that young people should have.
The first is power of attorney. This document provides information about who you would like to have make decisions regarding your financial matters, should something happen that leaves you incapacitated. Often a family member or close friend, the person named will be able to act as you in your financial matters-including filing tax returns, check deposits and bill payments-should the need arise.
The second piece is an advanced health care directive. There are two parts to this. The first is a living will that clearly states the extent of medical care you wish to receive should something happen that makes it impossible for you to make the decision yourself. The medical power of attorney names who will be able to make decisions regarding your health, if you become incapacitated.
In both of these situations, great care should be taken in deciding who will be named. Although seemingly a straightforward task, there are many things that should be considered. A lawyer who routinely helps people navigate this process can assist in making sure your needs and concerns are addressed appropriately.