On May 9, 2013

A number of young adults in Colorado still depend on their parents to help them out if they have a medical or financial emergency. However, once someone reaches the age of 18, their parents no longer have access to their medical records or any ability to make healthcare choices for them if they are not able to do so on their own. This is why even young people should have certain estate planning documents drawn up.

The most important legal documents for people of all ages are a power of attorney, a health care proxy and a will. A power of attorney names a particular individual to make legal and financial choices for someone if they cannot do so themselves. These documents can be used if an individual is traveling or if they are incapacitated. A health care proxy is also essential because no one can tell if they will be seriously injured. This document puts a trusted individual in charge of making treatment decisions and medical choices for someone who is unable to do so.

Young adults may also benefit from having a will drawn up. In addition to determining how property and assets will be handled if someone dies, a will can also determine who will take care of someone’s children. If a will is not in place, assets and child care decisions are left to the state in most cases.

It is essential that estate planning documents are set up correctly so they are not easily contested. Speaking with a lawyer may help people understand what these documents do and how to ensure their wishes are carried out.

Source: NBCNews.com, “Even young adults should start estate planning”, Sheyna Steiner, May 06, 2013

Categories: Estate Planning

Tags: , ,