One of the most common questions we get is “when should I start estate planning?”. The answer is if you’re asking the question then you probably need an estate plan. It’s a common mistake thinking that you aren’t “old enough” or “wealthy enough” to have a plan, but realistically everyone over the age of 18 can benefit from some sort of estate planning document.
When Should I Start Estate Planning?
An estate plan should be tailored to your life and whatever your situation is. As you move through different chapters of you life, your plan should be updated to make sure you’re protected as you mature. People as young as 18 need some sort of plan, particularly since emergencies can happen to anyone. So if you are reading this and not sure when you should start estate planning, the answer if most likely that you should start now. If an emergency happens and you unexpectedly die without a will, you risk putting your family through the probate process and potentially losing things that you’ve worked hard for.
No matter what age you are, here are some estate planning documents to consider:
- Power of Attorney- for both finances and your medical decisions, name someone who would be in charge if something happens to you.
- HIPAA Release- name someone who is authorized to get your medical information, this is especially important for young adults as parents lose the legal right to learn medical information once their child turns 18.
- Living Will- list your medical wishes so your loved ones can make decisions based on your wishes should you become incapacitated.
It’s not easy to think about these things and definitely not fun to hypothesize what may happen when you aren’t here. Create peace of mind for yourself and your loved ones and start your estate plan now if you haven’t already. If you’re in Illinois or Wisconsin please contact us, we’re happy to help.
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Disclaimer: This article is intended to serve as a general summary of the issues outlined therein. While this article may include general guidance, it is not intended as, nor is a substitute for, qualified legal advice. Your review or receipt of this article by Lexern Law Offices, Ltd. (the “LLG”) or any of its attorneys does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the LLG. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors of the article and does not reflect the opinion of the LLG.