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At What Age Should I Create My First Estate Plan?

Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Oct 03, 2019 | 0 Comments

The short answer is the age of majority or emancipation, whichever comes first.  This is because at that point your parents' consent is no longer required for healthcare and financial matters.  You are on your own.  You can make your own decisions.  They can't make them for you anymore.  This  is so even if in reality you are still dependent on your parents.  (And this is so even though biologists say the human brain is not fully developed until approximately age 25, but I digress . . .)

I actually never get asked this question, sadly.  This is because people that age are immortal, invincible and made of rubber, or so they believe. 

The truth, however, is that a certain percentage of young adults do fall victim to serious illnesses and terrible accidents.  When that happens it is a huge burden on your parents (usually) to have to go to court to be appointed your guardians so that they can manage your finances and make medical decisions for you when you are unable to do so yourself.  And it is expensive, WAY more expensive than the cost of a basic estate plan (and basic is all one usually needs at that age).

An estate plan for a young, unmarried adult should consist of the following, at a minimum:

  • Simple will
  • Durable general power of attorney
  • Medical power of attorney
  • HIPAA authorization

Once you dip your toe in the water, you might be motivated to add the following;

  • Living Will
  • Personal Care Plan
  • Docubank membership
  • DCS subscription (if you have a lot of digital assets)

We can help.  If you are the parent or grandparent of a young adult, think about involving those young adults when you do your estate plan.  They need estate plans, too!

About the Author

Nina Whitehurst

Attorney at Law Nina has been practicing law for over 30 years in the areas of estate planning, real estate and business law She is currently licensed in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon and Tennessee. Her Martindale-Hubbell attorney rating is the highest achievable: 5 stars in peer...


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