According to a recent survey from caring.com, 78% of millennials don't have a will. People put off this talk of death because it’s morbid and uncomfortable. However, if you die without a will, the consequences for your loved ones can be catastrophic.
Kiplinger’s article “Why Everyone Needs an Estate Plan” explains that a will details exactly how you want your property distributed after your death. A will also designates an executor to handle these transfers. If you will die intestate or without a will, the state decides how to distribute your property and funds. That process generally begins with your parents, if you're childless (unless an account like your bank account designates a beneficiary or is held jointly). Even if you want to leave everything to your parents, a will can make things a lot easier.
Two other important documents are a durable power of attorney, which names the person who can manage financial matters on your behalf if you’re unable, and an advance medical directive, which lays out your end-of-life wishes for life support, comfort, nourishment, and other issues. You also designate an individual to carry out these decisions on your behalf, either within the medical directive or in a separate document.
Without a legal document that specifies your wishes or that names a health care agent, you run the risk of a situation that won’t end well. If you fall into a persistent vegetative state, because of illness or an accident, you’ll probably be kept alive artificially.
Start now. Consider the person (or people) you want to name as your executor and to have power of attorney authority for your health and finances. Remember that the right person to make financial or medical decisions on your behalf—and delve into your private matters—may not be the person to whom you feel the closest.
Talk to an experienced estate planning lawyer. Call Rowley Law at 847-490-5330 to schedule an appointment today. Okay, it’s a little bit morbid. However, it's a relief to know that people you trust will be in charge of your life and legacy.
Reference: Kiplinger’s (August 30, 2018) “Why Everyone Needs an Estate Plan”