Why Young Adults Should Plan Their Estates, Even If They Are Broke

Many people believe that estate planning is just for rich or senior members of the society, but this isn't true. Anybody can benefit by anticipating and arranging for their estate's demise before their demise. Therefore, if you are a young adult in college, it's time to plan your estate, if you haven't done so. This is because, apart from planning for your "meager" assets disposal, estate planning will also help you with other arrangements, such as these three:

Medical Decisions

Once you have reached the age of majority (18 years in most states), your parents are no longer responsible for making your medical decisions. It's your decision that matters, and this can complicate matters for you and your family if you are seriously ill and can't make the decisions. For example, if you slip into a coma after a car crash, your parents won't be able to authorize the doctors to perform a promising experimental treatment without your decision.

The only way you can give your parents, guardian, or any other person you trust the authority to do this is to make the arrangements while you are still able to do it; this is an integral part of estate planning. For example, you can name your parents as your healthcare proxy or give them a healthcare power of attorney.

Financial Decisions

Even if you aren't wealthy, you do have some money you use in your day to day life, such as your stipend and credit cards. Apart from that, you may also receive some money when incapacitated. You won't be able to use that money, say for your treatment, if you are incapacitated and don't have anyone with the legal authority to act on your behalf.

Take an example where you suffer mental or brain injury in an accident caused by another persons' negligence. If you receive a settlement check from the insurance company, your parents or guardian won't be able to use the money (even for helping you) without your authorization. Another example is if you inherit some assets while incapacitated; nobody will be able to touch that money without your authority. You can only delegate that authority if you still have the capacity to do so; for example, by giving them a durable financial power of attorney.

Social Media Presence

Lastly, you can also use estate planning processes to determine what will happen to your online presence once you are gone. Almost everybody, especially the young, has a media presence in the form of social media accounts and blogs. Do you want the accounts to be deleted or memorialized after your death? If you don't determine what will happen to your Instagram or Facebook accounts after your demise, the law (or someone of not your choosing) will do it for you, and it might be something you would not like.

For more information about estate planning, talk with a law firm like Linn Schisel & DeMarco Attorneys At Law.