Do you know what an estate plan is? Essentially, an estate plan, for those unaware, is the legal documentation of your last wishes, including, but not limited to, asset distribution and funeral arrangements. While that sounds all well and good, you’re still young and, as far as you’re concerned, won’t need a will or trust any time soon.
While you may be right, you shouldn’t put your life to chance. The world is a dangerous place and anything can happen: you could develop a medical condition or you could be a victim of a catastrophic accident leaving you hospitalized.
But what does a medical condition or hospitalization have to do with an estate plan? Here’s what you should know:
Planning out a power of attorney
One often forgotten feature of a will is the designation of a power of attorney. If you don’t know what a power of attorney is, then you should know they’re a sort of representative for a testator. In other words, a power of attorney will make decisions of behalf on the testator if they’re found incapacitated or developed a medical condition that inhibits them from making choices for themself.
But, what kind of decisions does a power of attorney make? Simply, they make medical and financial decisions. In fact, a power of attorney can be designated to one person as a general power of attorney who governs both medical and financial decisions, or two separate people can be given the role, one over financial decisions and the other over medical decisions.
Further, a medical power of attorney may decide if the testator will undergo surgery, medication, long-term health care and all health-related matters. While the financial power of attorney looks over debt, rent, utilities, medical bills and any other economic decision. But a financial power of attorney can do so much more while the testator is of sound mind, such as making investments in real estate.
All and all, your power of attorney is there to make decisions in your best interest. You’re still young, but having a will could make a huge difference in your world. Estate planning isn’t easy however and may need help from someone experienced in the law.