If you are single and between the ages of 18 and 25, you probably have never given a single thought to writing a will as part of an estate plan. After all, you are in the prime of your life — hale and healthy, and with few things of value.
But the reality is that you probably own a lot more valuable property than you realize. And while you could live another 60 or 70 years, you could also die tomorrow from an unforeseen accident or illness. Without a valid will in place, your personal property is subject to the laws that govern the estates of those who die intestate (without a will). Below are some things to consider before procrastinating about estate planning.
Almost everyone has something of value
Even if you think all that you own outright is your used vehicle and the balance in your checking account, you may be overlooking things like:
- Digital assets
- Savings bonds or college funds
When you think about these items, you probably have very clear ideas about whom you would want to inherit them. If so, commit your intentions by having your will drafted.
You need more than a will
If the past two years taught us nothing else, they have illustrated the need for health care proxies, advanced directives and living wills. Without these documents drafted and available when needed, your health care decisions can and will be made by your next of kin who may be woefully unprepared to step up and make quick and critical decisions.
What type of advanced life support would you want in the wake of a catastrophic accident or illness that left you incapacitated? Would you want to be put on a ventilator and fed through a tube? If you suddenly flatlined, do you want CPR and other resuscitative measures even in the event that you had a serious brain injury?
Some people would, while others prefer to pass naturally. Stating your intentions now in a legal document assures that your wishes will be followed if the worst occurs.