Why you should think about an estate plan while you’re young

Take the time to make an estate plan now to ensure your wishes are followed in the future.

In your 20s and 30s, it can be easy to feel invincible and forget that tragedy can strike at any moment. While it is not pleasant to think about such possibilities, the reality is that people suddenly find themselves facing serious injuries every day. An accident can happen in the blink of an eye and the last thing you want is for your loved ones to be confused about your wishes under those circumstances.

Consequently, regardless of your age, you should consider creating an estate plan, to ensure you are prepared for whatever may come.

Many people think of estate plans as only consisting of a will, directing the distribution of their assets upon their passing. In reality, an estate plan can encompass much more.

Creating a healthcare directive

Deciding what you want to happen following a serious accident in which you require medical intervention may be one of the most important aspects of a young person's estate plan. When the worst happens and an accident leaves someone incapacitated, he or she should be able to have his or her wishes followed regarding medical treatment.

In some cases, an individual may wish for whatever medical help may be given to keep him or her alive. Other people, however, may not desire medical intervention under certain circumstances. Your medical treatment should be your decision. By creating a healthcare directive, you can ensure that your wishes are followed, regardless of whether you are able to communicate them at the time.

Making sure your loved ones have access to your online accounts

Think about all of the information you have stored online. If you're like most people, you probably have some or all of the following accounts online:

• Bank accounts and other financial services

• Social media accounts, like Facebook and Twitter

• Picture storing services, like This Life

• Movie and music streaming services

What will happen to all of that information and those accounts if you were to suddenly become incapacitated? What would you want to happen to your social media accounts? Do you have a beneficiary named for your financial accounts? Do you want someone to be able to have access to your stored pictures?

All of these decisions will be made easier if you plan for the future and create an estate plan. Ensuring your passwords for your online world are safely stored will allow your loved ones to follow through with your wishes.

Even though it may seem premature, taking the time to talk to an estate planning lawyer now could save your loved ones a lot of difficult decisions in the future. The only way to make sure your wishes are followed is to plan for the future now.