You’re only in your late 20s, so the suggestion that you need an estate plan seems premature. It’s important for you to remember that no one knows when they will be hurt or killed. Estate plans are about more than just taking care of your assets or setting plans for your funeral. They can also be used to protect you if you fall ill and need someone else to make medical decisions for you.
In a standard estate plan, you’ll select a health care power of attorney and durable power of attorney. These two powers of attorney are essential because they make medical and legal decisions on your behalf when you can’t make decisions yourself.
Your health care power of attorney makes medical decisions for you when you’re incapacitated. For example, if you get married, you can appoint your husband or wife to be your health care power of attorney. If you are involved in a serious car crash and are unconscious, your spouse would be able to make medical decisions for you. For instance, if there is a choice between two different kinds of surgeries or an option between amputating or trying to save a limb, you may want your spouse to be the one to make that decision for you when you can’t.
You can appoint almost anyone to be your health care power of attorney. You can also include information in your estate plan that states your medical preferences, such as what you want to see happen if you need life support or are left in a coma.
An attorney can walk you through the steps of setting up these basic powers of attorney, so you’re protected if you happen to get hurt in the future.