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Estate Planning and Young Adults

This year for Estate Planning Awareness Week we are looking at how creating an estate plan that works can be beneficial to you no matter what stage of life you are in. It is a common misconception that you don’t need a plan until you are in retirement, or after, but there are advantages for all ages, including young adults as well.

For those of you, or your children, who recently turned eighteen, an entire estate plan may not be necessary, but having certain documents in place should be considered. Especially if you are in college and living on your own for the first time.

Even though you may be on your parent’s health, auto, or phone plans, it would still be wise to think about having a financial power of attorney in place. This would allow your parent, or whoever you trust, to be named as an agent and manage your financial and legal matters if you were in a situation that you couldn’t do so yourself. For instance, should you be injured and become incapacitated or choose to study abroad at some point, your agent would be able to access your financial accounts to pay bills (avoid late fees, etc.) and handle whatever else needs to be taken care of financially.

Similarly, you may want to have a power of attorney for healthcare in place. If you were to become incapacitated, this document would allow your parents or loved ones to make medical decisions for you. Without this document in place, they would have to open a guardianship through a time consuming and costly probate court process.

Additionally, at eighteen, health care providers may no longer disclose medical records or patient status to your parents, even if you’re still on their insurance plan. To easily be able to discuss medical information with care providers, a HIPAA medical release form should be in place granting your parents or guardian access.

For other young adults, if you already have a plan in place, and you were single when you created it, updates may be necessary. You may have previously placed your parents in charge of your financial and medical decisions and want to change those roles to name your spouse as your agent instead. Or you may want to give your new spouse access to your medical information through a HIPAA medical release in case of emergency. Plans should be regularly updated to reflect the changes in your life for them to continue to work for you.

It is important to not overlook planning for young adults. Taking minor precautions now can have a major impact later. You can schedule an initial consultation with us to discuss r what you should have in place to provide you the most protections by calling our office at (248) 409-0256.