If you have not yet created your estate plan, you might consider starting with the basics, such as your will plus powers of attorney (POA) for finances and healthcare.
You probably agree that having a will is a good idea. But why are powers of attorney important?
The POA for healthcare
You can appoint a trusted relative or friend to act on your behalf if you should become incapacitated. He or she can interact with doctors and other healthcare professionals to carry out your wishes. You can also add a living will to your healthcare POA containing your instructions in the event you need end-of-life care.
The POA for finances
You may choose the same person to manage both your POA for healthcare and your POA for finances, or you may appoint different people. The agent you choose for the latter will take over tasks such as handling your day-to-day finances, paying your bills, submitting your taxes and managing investments.
The best time to draft your documents
Perhaps you are under the impression that estate planning is only for people with considerable wealth, but that is not true. Estate planning is for anyone over the age of 18. You may be 25 and an IT expert making a very good living. You might be newly retired and concerned about your family if you should become incapacitated. Remember that an unexpected illness or accident can happen to anyone at any age, and it is wise to be prepared. Keep in mind that older people should create powers of attorney when they are still mentally competent. Otherwise, the documents will not stand up in court.