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It’s Never Too Early to Look at Estate Planning

Dec. 22, 2013

When most people think of estate planning, they think of an elderly individual leaving behind a will after they pass away.

The truth, though, is that estate planning is beneficial to individuals of just about any age. Once you are legally an adult (typically by age 18), your parents are no longer allowed to make decisions on your behalf, including both medical and financial decisions.

It’s true that most individuals 18 years of age don’t have much in the way of assets, but it is still important that if something were to befall you, someone you trust would be able to make decisions on your behalf. In addition, if you do not have any sort of estate planning documentation, often time medical personnel will not even be allowed to share any information with family members, even if the parents are paying the medical bills.

In this situation, a power of attorney can be extremely important. You can have your power of attorney be pretty much any adult you choose, and that would grant them full access to any information and/or decision-making required of them.

If powers of attorney aren’t set up in advance of an unfortunate event, there are still options for your loved ones. They will usually be allowed to petition the court for guardianship, granting them the ability to make decisions. The problem is that this process is often costly, and usually takes a few weeks to complete.

Accidents happen every day, but if you have the proper paperwork in place before hand, you will ensure that you are in your trusted loved ones’ hands when you need them the most.