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What are estate planning basics for young adults?

Our readers know that we believe a solid estate plan is necessary at all stages of life. No matter if you are just 18 years old or if you are well into your golden years, having an estate plan can let your loved ones know what you want in your final days and what you want to happen when you are gone. Our Texas readers might like to know about some of the ways people can handle estate planning at various stages in life.

What if I am a young adult?

Young adults should make sure that they have a health care proxy and living will to ensure that their medical care is in accordance with their wishes. It is also a good idea to have a durable power of attorney that gives someone control over your finances if you are unable to handle them on your own.

What if I'm in a relationship?

Before you get married, you likely won't have to change anything but might need to consider a prenuptial agreement. Once you get married, you will need to update your powers of attorney to include your spouse. Unless you do so, your spouse would be powerless to make decisions for you. Also, life insurance beneficiary information might need to be updated.

What if my family is growing?

Having children means you need to update your documents to include your child. This includes appointing a guardian in case you and your spouse both pass away before the child is an adult. Other documents, such as life insurance policies and wills, should also be updated.

Almost every life change means you need to reevaluate your estate plan. Handling those changes as they come ensures that your loved ones can follow your wishes when the time comes.

Source: Bankrate, "8 life stages of estate planning" G.M. Filisko, accessed Jan. 16, 2015

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