If you are an adult and you live in Ohio, you probably need an estate plan. An estate plan determines what will happen to your belongings, but it can also help make plans for you in case you become incapacitated. Some people may think they are too young to have an estate plan, but there are certain documents that are useful for everyone.
Planning for incapacity
Even if you are a college student with few possessions and mostly dependent on your parents, you may want to consider a health care proxy or medical power of attorney. This appoints your parents or anyone else you choose to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to. A durable power of attorney does the same for your finances while a living will explains your wishes for end-of-life care.
Beneficiary designations and wills
If you have a retirement account through work or a life insurance policy, you have probably been given a beneficiary designation form. It is common for people to forget about these forms and let them fall out of date, so it is important to review them regularly along with the rest of your estate plan. You may also want a will even if it is only to pass on sentimental items. If you have minor children, you can use a will to name a guardian for them.
Trusts and long-term care
People who have more complex estates may want to consider a trust. A trust can help you control how and when your assets are distributed and may offer additional protection from creditors. As you get older, you may also want to think about whether you need to include a plan for long-term care as part of your overall estate plan.
Marriages, divorces, births and deaths may all be reasons to revise your estate plan. You should make it clear which version of your will is the latest. You might also want to discuss the estate plan with your family to some extent. Good communication can help reduce the likelihood of conflict or misunderstanding.