DO I NEED AN ESTATE PLAN IF I STILL LIVE AT HOME WITH MY FAMILY?
Over the last few years of navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, we all came uncomfortably face to face with our own mortality. Even younger individuals were taking these life and death matters to heart. You are never too young to consider what may happen if you are faced with an emergency, either in the short term or long term.
Estate planning is more than wills, trusts, and wealth protection, although these are very important considerations. It is about who will raise your children if something happens. Who will be responsible for your bills and obligations if you are suddenly incapacitated? Who will make life and death decisions for you if you are medically unable to do that for yourself?
The fact is, every adult over the age of 18 should have some basic form of estate planning in place. Even when you are younger, living at home, with few concerns about when you die, emergencies can and do happen. Planning for these emergencies are also part of a comprehensive estate plan.
Unfortunately, tragedy strikes young adults too. And once you reach eighteen, your medical records cannot be accessed by anyone other than you and your provider. Even if your parents are still paying for your insurance, they cannot make decisions regarding your medical care. With a medical power of attorney, you can appoint another person to make medical decisions for you if you can’t.
Aside from critical medical decisions, financial decisions will also need to be made if something unforeseen happens to you. Again, as an adult, nobody else has access to your bank accounts, bills, or credit cards. A durable power of attorney will appoint someone to manage and make financial decisions for you if you are not able to do it yourself.
Becoming Incapacitated Without a Plan in Place
Should you become incapacitated without basic estate planning in place, your family would be required to petition the court to appoint someone to manage your care and your legal and financial affairs. This is not only costly and time-consuming, but it can be traumatic for the family and even lead to disagreements about what your care should look like or any end-of-life considerations at a very emotionally devastating time. Furthermore, the court could appoint someone you would have never wanted to have control over these important decisions.
Although you may not have significant wealth, you may have accumulated some assets and personal effects that you want to go to particular individuals. Or you may have a child who would be left without a parent should something happen to you. Your will can name an executor, designate your heirs and who will get what belongings and assets, and name a guardian for any children you may have. Without a valid will, the state will determine who gets your assets and who will act as a guardian to your child.
Protecting Against the Unforeseeable in Orange County, CA
Regardless of how young you are or the extent of your financial wealth, having a basic estate plan in place is critical to ensure protection against the unforeseeable. At The Law Offices of Roshni T. Desai, our skilled team of Orange County, CA estate planning attorneys can offer peace of mind knowing that you have important estate planning measures in place in case of tragedy or incapacity.
We will detail how you want your financial and medical care managed, including any important end-of-life decisions. We can also create a will to ensure that your belongings will be distributed according to your wishes and your child will be cared for by the individual of your choice. Call us at 714.694.1200 or contact us for more information.