Many Texans view estate planning as something they do not need to worry about until they grow older. However, adults of all ages can benefit from estate planning. No matter how old or young you might be, it is a good idea to have a plan in place in the event something unexpected happens to you. There are some key documents that people of all ages should have in their estate plans.
Documents needed for people ages 18 and older
When people reach adulthood, it is important for them to have several key estate planning documents in place in case they are involved in accidents or develop serious medical conditions so that their family members can access information about their medical care and finances. Without these documents, the parents of someone who is over the age of 18 will have trouble finding out about their child’s medical condition and treatment and might need to go through a guardianship court process. Some of these documents include the following:
- Living will to state the types of end-of-life care that are wanted or declined
- Health care proxy to name someone to make health care decisions when the person cannot make decisions for themselves
- Financial durable power of attorney to name someone to make financial decisions when the person cannot make decisions for themselves
Estate planning documents after property is acquired
When you first acquire property and have a 401(k) through your job, you will want to make sure that your beneficiary designations are kept current and will want to write a last will and testament. When you have children, you might want to consider creating a trust as a part of your estate plan to provide for their care if anything should happen to you.
Estate planning is a good idea regardless of your age. Having the right documents in place and making changes to them as needed whenever you undergo major life changes can help to protect your finances and those of your loved ones.