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Does my 18-20 year old need an estate plan?

The short answer is yes.

A little while ago, a friend of mine who is in her 20s had to unexpectedly go to the hospital.  She was not coherent when she was admitted and some intense decisions needed to be made quickly.

Her dad rushed to the hospital to help. Because she was incoherent when she was admitted to the hospital, she could not fill out any paperwork about her wishes or who she would like to make medical decisions for her.

Luckily, she had an estate plan and her dad went to the hospital with a medical power of attorney form that allowed him to make medical decisions for her and a living will that stated her wishes if he had to make some tough decisions.

An estate plan avoided my friend’s dad from being potentially turned away from the hospital and having to go to court to get guardianship over his own daughter.

Because of these potential situations, it’s vital to discuss the ins and outs of an estate plan with a reliable estate planning lawyer. Our McHenry, Illinois team at Diamond Estate Planning Law covers the basics here.

What should I include in my estate plan if I am in my 20s?

No one in their 20s expects they will need an estate plan at that age. They’re young, healthy, and in the prime of life. However, an estate plan is much more than a will and testament in case the unthinkable happens.

Your estate plan can include powers of attorney to protect a young adult’s health in the case of a terrible accident or unexpected illness.

  • A power of attorney is a legal document that can help protect you when disaster strikes. It is legal authorization for another person to make important, potentially life-saving decisions on your behalf.
  • A medical power of attorney can be critical for a college-aged kid. Assigning a parent as a medical power of attorney will allow them to make medical decisions in case of a terrible accident.
  • You can also include a durable power of attorney as part of your estate plan in your 20s. This document grants your parent, guardian, or family member the power to manage your finances if you fall ill or can’t take care of them yourself. This includes paying bills, communicating with your landlord, managing your personal business, and more.

Why is it important for my college-age kids to have an estate plan?

If you have children over the age of 18, they are legally adults and you, as their parent, do not automatically have the right to conduct their financial and medical affairs.  

Technically speaking, if they are incapacitated and you don’t have the right paperwork in place, you may lose valuable time and money going to court and having to be appointed as the legal guardian of your adult child.

If your kids are going away to college, it is even more important to have these documents in place because if something happens you may be dealing with university bureaucracy or a hospital that does not know your family.

The good news is that a few simple documents can avoid all that.

This realization is also a good reminder to check in with your local estate planning attorney every few years to see if you need to update your will, trust, or estate plan.

Contact Diamond Estate Planning Law Illinois Estate Planning Attorneys Today

If you need help getting the right emergency documents in place for your adult child, our team at Diamond Estate Planning Law is here to help. We know how to create a customized estate plan that will fit your family needs, and how to protect your family in the case of an unexpected emergency. 

Give us a call at 815-385-6840 to schedule a free discovery session.

DISCLAIMER: Any information contained herein is solely for informational purposes and is only applicable in the state of Illinois.  While it is important that you educate yourself, nothing herein should be construed as legal advice or create an attorney- client relationship. For specific questions, we urge you to contact a local attorney for advice pertaining to your specific legal needs.

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