One of the more common questions that estate planning lawyers get is when should the average person begin estate planning. The answer is simple; you should begin estate planning as soon as you become an adult.
The primary reason for this is that estate planning is a process that allows you to make specific decisions that, if you don’t make yourself, others will be forced to make for you.
This decision-making process is clearly illustrated when people deal with incapacity planning. An incapacity plan is a set of documents you create that will allow you to ensure that your choices will be honored should you lose your ability to make or communicate your choices. Through incapacity planning you, for example, appoint an agent through a power of attorney who will manage your finances, as well as appoint someone who will make medical decisions for you.
While many seniors finally get around to making incapacity plans, they are relatively uncommon for younger people. The fact is, most younger people don’t believe they will ever be sick, injured, or otherwise unable to make their own choices.
But incapacity planning isn’t something you should make just because you believe you could get sick or be involved in an accident. Incapacity planning is really about giving yourself peace of mind.
Many people, especially those with young children, worry about what might happen to their family members in the worst-case scenarios. If you create an incapacity plan you can rest assured that the people you trust the most will have the legal authority to make decisions that are in the best interests of you and your family.