Is estate planning only for the elderly or wealthy? Not necessarily. What young adults in the Riverdale area may fail to realize is that estate plans go beyond having a simple will. While having a will is a good place to start, there are other estate planning documents young adults should consider executing as part of a comprehensive estate plan.

Planning for incapacity

First, it is important to recognize that no one is guaranteed good health or old age. A serious or fatal illness or injury could strike anyone of any age. So, it is important to have a durable power of attorney for health care and a durable power of attorney for finances in place. This allows you to name an individual to make health care or financial decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated and can no longer make these decisions on your own.

Similarly, it is important to have a living will. A living will addresses what type of life-saving or life-extending medical care you want if you become incapacitated, for example, if you are in an irreversible coma or are facing a terminal illness.

Asset planning and protection

Finally, you will want to draft a will and possibly a trust. Without a will or trust, your assets will be passed on to certain heirs named in state laws on intestate succession. These laws may not reflect your wishes and could lead some people that you would have liked to see inherit something left out entirely. Trusts can help you manage and protect your assets for your future heirs.

As this shows, even young people can benefit from estate planning. Without an estate plan, if you become incapacitated or pass away, it could lead to fights among your loved ones who are left without guidance or it could even lead to the state making these decisions rather than you. Attorneys in New Jersey can be a useful resource to young adults who decide they want to be proactive with estate planning.