When we’re young, we have one fatal flaw: we believe we’ll live forever. And that’s not a bad thing. It gives us the courage to take chances – learn new things, change careers, and even fall in love.
Photo by Zachary Nelson on Unsplash
This often blinds us to certain important questions, though. Usually, people don’t think about items like their Will or Living Will until they are well into middle age, or until it’s too late.
However, no matter how young you are, there are certain important things that should be in place.
Durable Power of Attorney
Due to modern medical science, it is more likely that young people will leave the hospital incapacitated or disabled than dead. This is an astounding accomplishment.
But what happens after those cases? If someone becomes incapacitated, what happens to their things?
In these situations, life gets messy.
Let’s consider a hypothetical situation:
Ron is married, with no children. He and his wife live in a charming little home in a very nice part of town. It was towards the top of their price range, but they make ends meet.
One night, a drunk driver hits Ron and he falls into a coma. Months pass, and his wife, Mary starts to fall behind on the mortgage payments. Unfortunately, Ron’s name is on the title. In most states, both co-owners must sign off on any sale of property. Without a Durable Power of Attorney, Mary’s hands are tied in this impossible financial situation.
Having a Durable Power of Attorney in place helps not only couples, but also single people. Parents, or even trusted friends, can be the named agents in those forms. This helps create a contingency in case anything should happen.
These forms provide information about how you would like your health care decisions to be made should you become incapacitated. This has come into the spotlight in recent years because of cases like Terri Schiavo. If you’re unfamiliar, Terri Schiavo suffered cardiac arrest, which led to a diagnosis of persistent vegetative state (PVS). After many years, her husband wished to take her off life support, arguing that Terri wouldn’t want to live in such conditions.
Unfortunately, Terri never filled out an Advanced Medical Directive.
Her husband and her parents fought in the courts and the news for years.
These documents, like a Living Will, can help spare loved ones from situations like this. They can also help your loved ones know exactly what kind of care you’d like to have. This will definitely alleviate some stress on their part during a difficult time, so they don’t have to second guess the decisions they’ll be forced to make.
Last Will and Testament
Everyone knows this document. But people usually don’t think about having one drawn up until they start getting older.
There are too many horror stories of someone passing away, and the inheritance breaking apart the family. Whether married, single, old, or young, a will can prevent fighting in the future, when you won’t be there to put a stop to it.
Live like you’re immortal
These topics are uncomfortable to bring up in conversation. No one wants to talk about dying or becoming incapacitated. However, with these documents in place, you can actually sleep easier at night, because you’ll know that everything will be taken care of.
It’s hard to know where to start, especially on a topic like this. A financial advisor can help you make these preparations. Click here to register for a free Bronze account, and a licensed financial advisor will reach out to set up a meeting with you.