Estate planning is something that is very easy to procrastinate about. Most people are aware of the fact that it is a good idea to be prepared for the worst while expecting the best. But, very few of us expect to die any time soon, and many people tend to think that they will have adequate warning.
This is understandable but it is a mistake all the same. The average lifespan in the United States right now is 78.4 years, but of course the operative word here is “average.” There are people who die as a result of accidents and terminal illnesses many years before their time. So when you consider the fact that we are all “day-to-day” as they say on ESPN the reality is that people of all ages need an estate plan, not just those who are past the typical retirement age.
It is important to recognize that there is a health care component to today’s comprehensive estate plan. If you were to become incapacitated as a result of an accident or catastrophic illness, would you want to be kept alive via the use of artificial life support systems?
Who would you want to see making decisions in your behalf if you cannot make them for yourself? These questions can be answered via the execution of advance health care directives, and this is one of the reasons why people of all ages should consult with an estate planning attorney to make their wishes known even if they have not yet accumulated significant financial assets.
In the final analysis it could be suggested that an estate plan becomes necessary as soon as an individual reaches adulthood and assumes full responsibility for his or her own life decisions. It is one of the responsibilities that comes along with being an adult, and when you shirk this responsibility you may wind up placing your loved ones in a very difficult situation should the unthinkable take place.
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