End-of-life planning is something that most people wait until they're much older to start preparing for. In fact, a recent study suggests that 76% of people in the United States neglect their end-of-life planning until it's nearly too late.
This is something that needs to be avoided at all costs, and for this reason, we've come up with this list of reasons why it's important to begin your end-of-life planning as soon as possible:
- You need to designate someone as your healthcare proxy (i.e., give them power of attorney). This healthcare proxy serves in your place and stead in the event you are incapable of making your own decisions with regard to your healthcare. This is not a decision to be made lightly, and additional provisions may have to be made if your selected proxy is incapable of making the decision on your behalf.
- You need to prepare your last will and testament. This is a legal document that distributes your possessions (including your finances) after you've passed away. Again, this is a not a decision to be made lightly, and if proper steps aren't taken to ensure the will is ironclad, there will definitely be a prolonged legal battle.
- Finally, but no less importantly, you need to consider the financial impact on your family, friends, and loved ones if you DON'T do it. Not having a last will & testament -- and someone who's a designated health care proxy -- will cause an untold amount of financial and emotional distress on your loved ones. And while you think you may be too young to have to deal with this sort of thing...the reality is, even a freak accident could take your life tomorrow morning, and it's better to be safe than sorry.