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Estate planning is important for young adults, too

The lives of many St. Paul young adults are busy, as they juggle the demands of work, school or other activities. Faced with this busy schedule, it can sometimes seem difficult to plan for events that are seemingly far ahead in the future and that do not have an impact on their current daily lives.

Chief among these seemingly far off events are the concerns in estate planning, as many young adults may feel they have no need to draft estate planning documents at such a young age. On top of this, many may view estate planning as something that is done by only those with substantial assets, instead of a younger person who is still getting their career and personal life established.

Nonetheless, there are several reasons why estate planning is important for young adults. Aside from drafting a basic will, young adults may not realize that, after the age of 18, their parents no longer have the legal authority to act on their behalf. Accordingly, if the young person were to suffer incapacity of some form, their parents or loved ones may not be able to make important decisions for them, such as health care decisions.

This is why it is essential that young adults, just like older individuals, execute estate planning documents like a durable power of attorney. Through a health care power of attorney, a named person can be the young adult's agent, with the authority to make important health care decisions for the incapacitated person.

At the same time, individuals can spell out their wishes in a living will. Instead of dealing with property, a living will indicates a person's wishes when it comes to certain care they do or do not want, with the level of specificity varying depending on the person's wishes.

Accordingly, through a living will and health care power of attorney, young adults can prepare themselves in the event of a tragic incident that would leave them incapacitated. These are just two examples of why estate planning makes sense even for young adults, as there are many other benefits individuals can obtain through estate planning. Young adults can learn of all of these benefits by meeting with a qualified estate planning attorney.

Source: Green Bay Press Gazette, "Young adults should look at estate planning," Carissa Giebel, Dec. 30, 2013

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