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Millennials Need Estate Plans: The 3 Must-Do's (Part2)

Continue reading this post and find out the remaining Must-Do's!

2. Health care proxy or living will

A health care proxy names another person (such as a spouse or family member) who can make vital health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so. This person would also have access to your medical records and could speak directly with health care providers and pick up test results. When selecting this person, make sure that they are aware of (and agree with) the views that you hold, as they could potentially make life changing/saving decisions for you. Also choose a backup agent as an alternate health care proxy, just in case the first person chosen is unavailable.

Another option is to create a document called a “living will” that lists the medical treatments doctors can provide if a person cannot convey this information personally. Medical treatments listed can include but are not limited to: hydration, ventilation, artificial nutrition and resuscitation.

Regardless of which route you choose, people of all ages can benefit from a health care proxy, as millennials do undergo medical procedures, or they could get into a freak accident, or even get injured at the gym or on the job.

3. Durable power of attorney

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document in which you grant another person legal authority to act on your behalf. Without a power of attorney, the court may have to decide where someone’s assets are to go if a person is found to be unable to do so him- or herself. Many people grant a Power of Attorney to their spouse or a friend so that their financial matters can be taken care of in the event that they are unable to do it themselves. A Power of Attorney allows another person to handle financial and business transactions, and make other legal decisions on your behalf.

However, depending on state law, a power of attorney may cease if the person becomes disabled (which defeats the purpose of having granted a Power of Attorney in the first place). Therefore, millennials should specify that they have created a durable power of attorney so that the Power of Attorney will remain effective should they become unable to make decisions for themselves.

How often should millennials review estate plans?

Like all of use, millennials need to review their estate plans annually to ensure that they are accurate. Life events such as marriage, divorce, or the birth of a loved one can impact estate planning wishes and needs. Additionally, tax laws are constantly changing and can have a profound effect on estate plans. Therefore, make sure to revisit key elements of the plan annually (and adjust for life changes) so that current wishes are known.

Debra Taylor, The Horses Mouth

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