When you are first entering adulthood you learn about some basic responsibilities that you have to take care of that do not result in any immediate gratification. Paying for something like car insurance when you may never need to use it can be an empty feeling, but you learn that it is part of life and begrudgingly make the payments simply because you have to. But when that day comes when you do in fact need to make a claim you suddenly have that moment of clarity. The next time you make out a check to your insurance company the whole matter takes on a somewhat different complexion.
In the same way, once you get married and start a family you may recognize the need for incapacity and estate planning but feel as though you have plenty of time to take care of these matters. Statistically speaking it is true that you may well have plenty of time if you are in your 20s, 30s, 40s, or even in your 60s for that matter. After all, the average life expectancy in the United States is 78.4 years so you can probably wait until your 77th birthday and still have a good year left to make an appointment with an estate planning attorney.
It would simplify matters if it worked that way but death does not send a calling card and we do not all pass away when we reach the age of 78. Each and every day you see stories on the news about people dying in accidents, and none of these people expected to pass away on that day. The reality is that younger people are more likely to die in accidents than senior citizens.
So if you are a young adult it is important to have at least a basic estate plan in place that includes adequate life insurance to replace your income if you are married and/or have children. You should also have advance health care directives in place that elucidate your wishes with regard to the medical decisions that are made in your behalf in the event of your incapacitation. The wise course of action is to discuss the matter with an experienced estate planning attorney and take action to protect your loved ones and make sure that your own wishes are carried out should you expire unexpectedly.
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