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When do you need an estate plan?

On Behalf of | May 16, 2024 | Estate Planning |

When it comes to setting up an estate plan, the common assumption is that you do not need one until you are old and have amassed a great deal of wealth. If you are over 18 years old, you may start your estate planning process.

You might think that 18 years old is too young to prepare an estate plan, but it is not – you are of legal age. Your family might not get access to your medical records if you are sick and hospitalized. They also might not have a say in your care and have difficulties with assisting you because of legal boundaries. You can take control and name who has the ability to make these decisions on your behalf when you cannot by putting together an estate plan.

Setting up your estate plan

There are important documents you need to have in your possession when you are setting up an estate plan. These can include:

  • HIPAA release, which should have a named party
  • Organ donation form
  • Last will and testament
  • Health care power of attorney and financial power of attorney
  • Living will

Because of your age and your assets at the time, it is possible that your estate planning needs will be inexpensive and minimal. This can serve as an advantage. You may opt for a basic plan that you can modify later as needed.

Your assets matter – even at a young age

At your age, it may seem like you do not have much, but your assets still matter and can be set up for inheritance by a beneficiary in case you suddenly die. These may include valuable items such as artwork, jewelry, your car, money in the bank, and others.

Discussing your death and estate planning in general at a young age may seem morbid, but it is the sensible thing to do. It may prevent complications in the future in case of sudden death. Seeking the advice of trusted elder members of the family or an experienced attorney can help you navigate through the estate planning process.