Estate planning involves more than just the distribution of financial assets, and a lot of young people may not take that into consideration. The topic of health care has been in the news a lot during the last few years, and there was considerable debate recently concerning what life-extending procedures may or may not be allowed under proposed legislation. The fact is that each one of us has the ability to state our personal preferences concerning what medical procedures we would approve and of which ones we would prefer to eschew. This is done through the execution of a living will, something that everyone of every age should consider. We never know what may befall us on any given day and few of us want to leave those types of decisions in the hands of the state.
Living wills are very useful instruments, but it can be difficult to address every possible medical scenario within a single document. Another way to proceed is to execute a health care proxy or medical power of attorney. A medical power of attorney is a document that is used to authorize someone of your choosing to make medical decisions for you if at some point you cannot make them for yourself. Presumably you would select someone who understands your wishes in a general sense and would act in the same manner that you would if you were able to speak for yourself.
It is not hard to understand why young people who are full of life may not consider matters such as these. But the fact is that accidents do happen, and there are tens of thousands of fatal accidents each year on the roadways alone. Taking the time to address these issues and make sure a plan is in place is the mature choice for people of all ages. It’s very likely that young adults will live a long and healthy life and have to revisit their estate plans in the future. But it is nice to know that your wishes will be carried out and that your loved ones will not be left to make agonizing choices without your input should sudden tragedy befall you.