Is estate planning only for those who have married, had children, purchased a home and have now grown old and are thinking of their legacy to their adult children and young grandchildren? Not necessarily. Even young, single adults in Michigan can benefit from having a comprehensive estate plan.
What happens if I become incapacitated?
Incapacitation does not necessarily follow a medical event in old age such as a stroke or dementia. Even a young adult could be involved in a car crash that lands them in a coma or suffer a serious illness that renders them unable to communicate their wishes.
When this happens, it is important to have a medical and financial power of attorney. A medical power of attorney assigns a person the right to make healthcare decisions on your behalf should you be unable to make these decisions yourself due to incapacity. Similarly, a financial power of attorney assigns a person to manage your financial affairs should you be unable to do so on your own due to incapacity.
Honoring your preferences
Another part of a well-rounded estate plan is establishing your end-of-life preferences in a living will. In a living will you can dictate what kind of end-of-life care you wish to receive. After all, no one is guaranteed to live into old age; tragedy can strike the young.
Some topics you might want to cover in your living will include whether you want to be put on life support if you can no longer eat, breath or drink or whether you want CPR performed if your heart stops. Most of us have at least some idea of what our preferences are, and having these preferences decided upon in a living will can provide our loved ones with much guidance and comfort during a stressful and upsetting time.
Learn more about estate planning
Medical and financial power of attorney and a living will are only three items you will want to include in your estate plan. Other common documents not discussed here are wills and trusts, which often form the backbone of a well-drafted estate plan. With a well-rounded estate plan in place, those young and old can ensure their final wishes will be met when the time comes.