Many younger individuals believe that they do not need living wills, because they are young and healthy. Despite the invulnerable feeling of youth experienced by many individuals, there is still the unfortunate possibility that a young person could fall ill or become seriously injured and require the assistance of estate planning tools. By taking the time to consider the purpose of advance planning documents at a young age, individuals can prepare in case the worst scenario does happen. A seasoned estate planning attorney is best able to help a younger individual make sure that proper estate planning tools are in place.
Why Living Wills
If a younger individual dies without a will, Colorado courts will often follow what is known as the probate process to determine how assets of the individual should be distributed. While creating a will can establish guidelines for individuals to determine how to distribute an individual’s assets, younger individuals frequently need additionally estate planning methods as well. Instead of merely having a will, younger individuals should make sure that their estate planning documents detail additional elements including what life-saving measurements the individual would like performed. These are typically outlined in living wills. Without covering these types of medical decisions in estate planning, even younger individuals can lack control over what happens to their body in the event that an accident occurs.
Advice for Younger Individuals Concerning Estate Planning
There are some essential pieces of information that younger individuals should follow regarding estate planning, which includes the following:
- Health Care Proxies and Durable Powers of Attorney. When individuals turn eighteen, it is a wise idea to make sure that estate planning documents concerning a health care proxy and durable power of attorney are in place. In addition to creating estate planning documents about these devices, individuals should also make sure to provide written consent for HIPAA release to trusted individuals which can include parents, siblings, spouses, or other trusted individuals.
- On Obtaining a Steady Job. After securing their first steady job, individuals should make sure to review their list of beneficiaries. Other types of financial planning tools like annuities, life insurance plans, and retirement plans allow for individuals to appoint beneficiaries. Additionally, individuals should make sure to both update and list beneficiaries on 401(k)’s if offered by an employer.
- Consult with an Experienced Attorney. Many younger individuals are tempted to use do it yourself estate planning tools, but almost always lack the knowledge or experience to understand exactly how these documents should be written. Instead, individuals should consult with an experienced attorney if assistance is required.
Why You Should Contact a Colorado Estate Planning Attorney
For individuals in Colorado who wish to make sure that their medical wishes are fully executed, the creation of living wills can be very beneficial. At Whitcomb, Selinsky, & McAuliffe, PC., our attorneys have created many living wills for individuals. If you need to create a living will or assistance with any issue related to such a will, contact our practice online or call our practice at (866) 476-4558.