You’re a 21-year-old guy, unmarried, working in construction. You work hard and make decent money, but you spend it just as fast, too. Why should you worry about an estate plan?
Alternatively, you’re 23 and just had a baby with your boyfriend. You might marry in the future, but right now your focus is on the day-to-day tasks involved with childcare. You figure you have plenty of time to worry about writing out your will.
Either way, you’re wrong. Everybody needs a basic estate plan.
Certain estate documents are necessary
In the first hypothetical situation, the young construction worker could get hurt badly on the job in a fall from a height or during a crushing injury. Without simple documents on file like a living will and a health care proxy that appoints someone to make these difficult decisions for you, no one will know your preferences about the care you want to receive.
If your injuries leave you in a vegetative state, do you want to spend years intubated to breathe and fed and hydrated through other tubes? Or would you rather receive palliative care and be comfortable until you pass? Whatever your wishes, you don’t want to leave your loved ones in the dark.
What about your child?
It’s uncomfortable for a parent to contemplate dying and leaving their child behind. Sadly, accidents and misfortune are all too common in our world. In the second example, drawing up a simple will that addresses the guardianship issue of your child(ren) should be paramount once you become a parent.
It all seems so confusing
If you are a layperson with no legal background, estate planning documents can indeed appear overwhelming. But you can find peace of mind by drafting these basic legal documents once you become an adult.