Tragedy can strike at any time. That isn’t meant to scare you about living your life — but really, traumatic things can happen. When they do happen, the victims at the center of the tragedy hopefully have provisions and legal actions in place to not only take care of their family and loved ones, but also to fulfill their wishes.
We say all of this because younger generations may feel as though they don’t have to put together an estate plan, or have specific coverage in place for their life and well-being. But, in fact, this is exactly why you need an estate plan. Without one, a young person who succumbs to tragedy could unintentionally leave his or her family out in the cold.
Another critical reason to have an estate plan in place is to dictate to your family and to officials how you want to be treated in certain medical states. For example, if you are in a coma, how would you want to be medically treated? You obviously won’t be able to tell anyone, so a document stating how you wanted to be treated given a certain medical condition is important.
This is where two important parts of an estate plan — advance health care directive and durable power of attorney — come into play. The advance health care directive lets you outline how you should be treated given a certain set of medical circumstances. The durable power of attorney gives another person the ability to make financial decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated.