Are Estate Plans Only for Older and Wealthy Individuals?

When we think of an estate plan, it often brings to mind much older individuals with a lot of money. But are these the only individuals who should be creating an estate plan? Not at all. Sure, the elderly and the rich should have an estate plan, but so too should all adults. If you are 18 years or older, here’s what you should know about the importance of having an estate plan. 

Estate Plans Don’t Only Plan for Your Death 

Of course, an estate plan can help to determine what will happen to your assets when you die, but it should also address things such as incapacity. Your estate plan documents should discuss what will happen should you require help or become incapacitated. That’s where an advance health care directive and durable power of attorney can make a huge impact. 

What Should You Know About an Advance Health Care Directive?

In the event that you become incapacitated, it’s important that you have someone whom you can trust to make medical decisions on your behalf. An Advance Health Care Directive permits you to choose an “agent” who will be in charge of speaking with your treating physicians and other medical professionals and making medical decisions for you. However, you don’t have to leave everything up to your agent. You can choose which medical decisions you want to be made for you within your directive. If you make these choices then the agent can use them to help guide what they do. 

What Should You Know About a Durable Power of Attorney?

Similar to an Advance Health Care Directive, a Durable Power of Attorney enables you to choose an agent to make financial decisions on your behalf. But whereas an Advance Health Care Directive is activated when a specific event occurs, such as your incapacitation, a Durable Power of Attorney is activated as soon as it’s signed. For instance, if you are on vacation in Mexico but end up hospitalized, your Durable Power of Attorney can pay your bills on your behalf.

Estate plans can prove beneficial for people as young as 18 and those who don’t have a lot of money. The associated documents empower people to choose what they want to happen in a variety of situations. These documents ensure that the individual’s wishes are respected and set up protections for them by allowing someone else to assist them in carrying out their needs should they ever require such help. 

PALUMBO LAW Helps Those in Rhode Island with Their Estate Plans

At PALUMBO LAW, our knowledgeable Rhode Island Estate Planning attorneys understand Rhode Island estate planning laws and will work strategically to help our clients uphold and protect their rights. If you are in need of a comprehensive estate plan or any associated documents, we can help. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, call us today!