Estate Planning for Young Adults

Typically young adults don’t think they need to engage in any kind of estate planning.  WRONG!

Michigan law provides that one is a full-fledged legal adult on their 18th birthday.  With that comes a whole bundle of rights and responsibilities.  Here are a couple of reasons why people as young as 18 should be thinking about estate planning.

The term “estate planning” can be misleading. When people hear the word “estate” they think it has something to do with the wealthy people.  An estate plan is your direction to others regarding your legal, financial and health care issues.  This is important at any age.

It’s not just about death. A very small percentage of people age 18-44 will die in a given year.  That’s why life insurance is so cheap when you are young.  But many more will suffer a disability of some kind.  It’s important that you give sufficient legal powers to people who love you and will be acting on your behalf in the event of a disability.

You want to keep yourself and your family out of Probate Court.  Whether it’s dealing with death or disability you don’t want to force your loved ones to go to Probate Court in order to take care of your affairs.  Probate Court is a major pain in the neck.  It’s expensive, it’s open to the public and it takes a long time.  Good estate planning will keep you and your family from darkening the doors of Probate Court.

My loved ones need access to important medical information. Federal law treats medical information about you as strictly confidential.  Doctors, hospitals, clinics and just about every other kind of health care provider are prohibited from giving any information out about you without your permission.  Generally that’s a good thing.  But you want the loved one that is taking care of you to have all the information they need to act on your behalf.

An estate plan for a young adult should include:

  •   A basic Will
     
  •  A Power of Attorney for legal matters, property and finances
     
  • A Power of Attorney appointing a Patient Advocate to act on your behalf in medical emergencies
     
  •  A release to disclose academic information (who will you allow to look at your grades and talk to your professors)
     
  • A HIPAA release authorizing disclosure of medical information
We will help you get started no charge to you.

Click here to download a form authorizing the person of your choice to have access to your medical information.

The other documents should only be prepared with the advice of an experienced estate planning attorney, advice I would be happy to provide.Click here to contact us.

Oh, an important disclaimer.  Just because we’ve given you access to this form does not mean we are acting as your attorney.  The attorney-client relationship can only be created by signing a written representation agreement.

You’re not a kid anymore.  Neither Mom, Dad nor anyone else can automatically act on your behalf unless you do the kind of estate planning that lets them.

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