Creating an estate plan is not something only for the very wealthy or those who in retirement. In fact, estate planning can benefit adults at any age. Having a will, power of attorney and other important estate planning documents often come in handy for situations that you might not be able to anticipate.
Adults as young as 18 may benefit from a comprehensive estate plan. While you might feel invincible at this age, tragedy can happen to anyone at any age. An estate plan can also protect you if you are temporarily unable to make your own decisions.
What happens if you are incapacitated?
Say you are in a severe accident or suffer a serious illness. You might not be in any position to make medical decisions. This does not mean you can count on your parents, siblings or anyone else to be able to make decisions for you if you are over the age of 18.
Instead, you will need a medical power of attorney. The person named in this document will be able to make medical decisions on your behalf. To make sure that his or her decisions line up with your wishes, you should also have a living will that outlines your preferences regarding medical treatments. This is especially important if you have strong feelings about life-saving or life-extending care.
What will happen to my child?
Most parents in Texas go to great lengths to ensure their children’s safety, yet many overlook what will happen should they pass away. Selecting a guardian is one way to make sure that a child receives love and care if the worst happens. Although parents may choose anyone they like as a guardian, some common choices include:
- Aunts and uncles
- Close and trusted family friends
There are several things you should consider when selecting a guardian. One of the most important things you should ask yourself is whether a potential guardian shares similar values when it comes to child rearing. You will also want to speak with any potential guardians to be sure that they are willing to accept this responsibility.
What should I do with my documents?
While it is important to protect your estate planning documents from potential harm, you do not want to do such a great job of hiding them that no one can find them. Instead, try to keep all of your documents in a single place that is both safe and accessible. Informing at least one loved one where the documents are stored may be wise.
Estate planning is not something you do once and then never think about again. Documents like wills and powers of attorney reflect your wishes at the time of their creation, and your situation and preferences will likely change over time. Whether you are just starting out on your estate planning journey or are ready to make some changes, it is always worthwhile to review what makes an estate plan valid in Texas to make sure that your estate covers all necessary bases.