Can estate planning offer benefits to young people?
On behalf of Scaringi Law posted in Estate Planning on Friday, August 28, 2015.
Do young people feel like they're going to live forever? Based on the small number that prepare estate plans, wills and trusts, that answer appears to be yes. However, a recent story illustrates that more young people should consult with a law firm that focuses on estate planning, rather than putting this task off until reaching middle age or even retirement.
The lesson comes from the 22-year-old daughter of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, who recently passed away after being in a coma for six months. She had been discovered face down in her bathtub. Unfortunately, she had not executed an advance health directive, so her surviving family members ended up fighting for months over how to handle her comatose condition.
As a law firm that focuses on estate law, we advise our clients to include medical documents in their estate planning. If an unforeseen accident or illness renders an individual unable to make medical decisions, estate planning can ensure that an individual's wishes are still followed out.
From an estate lawyer's perspective, there are several components to planning for possible medical needs. First, an advance health care directive can specifically address what treatments an individual would prefer to accept or decline. A durable power of attorney for health care decisions can then designate someone to make medical decisions on the individual's behalf. To pay for medical treatments, a financial power of attorney can designate an individual to make decisions concerning the individual's financial affairs. A HIPPA release should also be included so that those individuals designated with powers of attorney can have access to the individual's medical record and make more informed decisions on his or her behalf.
Source: Wealth Management, "What Estate Planning Lessons can I Learn from Whitney Houston's Daughter?" Aug. 12, 2015