Regardless of your age, it’s critical to engage in estate planning to make sure you assert adequate choices over your financial and medical choices. Estate planning is also critical regardless of your economic status. While you will need to make estate planning decisions as you get older, even young people should also make your wishes known if anything happens. The Covid-19 pandemic has fortunately made many people appreciate the importance of being prepared for the unexpected regardless of age.
While estate planning is important regardless of how old a person is, a person’s estate planning needs to change as a person ages. This often means that younger people need fewer estate planning documents, but require more as they age. This article reviews some critical estate planning steps you should remember regardless of your age.
# 1 – Update Beneficiary Designations
Even if you’ve just begun your career, you will still likely need to name a beneficiary for your 401(k) as well as any retirement accounts that you own. You might decide to name your parents if you are not married and have no financial dependents. If you’re married or have children, you should take extra precautions to update beneficiary designations. You should avoid simply placing retirement accounts away and forgetting about these designations. If you have several retirement plans, you should make sure to keep these details up to date. You should also make sure to revise the terms of your estate planning documents if your goals or situations change.
# 2 – Utilize a Health Care Proxy
Health care proxies let a person make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you’re incapacitated or unable to do so. Even if you’re 18, it’s still a good idea to create a valid health care proxy. This is because after a person turns 18 that individual becomes a legal adult and parents do not have the right to make medical decisions. It’s unlikely that a young person becomes incapacitated, but these situations are known to occur. Just like other estate planning documents, it’s important to update these documents if your healthcare goals change.
# 3 – Create a Plan for Long-Term Care
It’s a good idea to begin thinking about your wishes for long-term care as early as possible. As you age, it’s a good idea to create a plan addressing how, when, and where you will receive long-term care as opposed to relying on your healthcare agent to make these decisions. Part of the estate planning process should include deciding where you’d like to receive care and also letting your children or loved one knows about these details.
Speak with an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney
If you or a loved one needs the assistance of an estate planning attorney, you should not hesitate to contact Ettinger Law Firm today. We understand some of the most common challenges faced by people engaged in estate planning and remain committed to making sure that people achieve their goals.