You are wise to know that you need an estate plan even though you are only 24 and likely have a long life to live. Everyone, age 18 or older, needs an estate plan. And, you are ahead of the pack because half of the people in the United States dont have an estate plan in place.
Having no legal documentation of your estate planning wishes can wreak havoc during your lifetime if you become incapacitated and after death.
If you are not yet married and have no children, it is likely that your estate plan will be quite simple. However, if you are a tech wizard, belonging in Silicon Valley, you likely need a more advanced plan because of your asset base.
For most 24 year olds, a simple will, health care power of attorney, financial power of attorney, living will, HIPAA release, and organ donation form will be a great estate plan.
It is important to remember to update your estate plan if you experience significant changes such as you get married, have or adopt a child, or move to a new state. Otherwise, you can check in with your estate planning attorney every three to five years to review your estate plan and determine whether updating is necessary.
When you get married and have children, more complex planning is prudent. For example, the center of your estate plan will then be a revocable living trust which has many benefits, including asset protected trusts for your beneficiaries.
For those with children, a will, naming guardians, and a child care power of attorney, naming guardians, is necessary. In addition, most parents want to authorize first responders to stay with their children until guardians arrive. This keeps your children from being taken into protective custody, commonly known as foster care. These documents are an important part of an estate plan for parents of young children.
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