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Even young people can start an estate plan to protect themselves

Estate planning is something that you probably don't think about much if you're young and don't yet have a family. Despite this, it's always smart to start planning your estate as soon as you can. You may just be starting out in your career or have purchased a home for the first time; whatever you're doing in life, you want to take steps to protect it with your estate plan.

Estate planning helps you determine how you'll distribute your assets if you pass away. It can also dictate who will care for you if you're impaired and unable to make decisions for yourself. Your estate plan is perhaps most important in that it will help you assert your wishes when you may otherwise be unable to do so.

At a young age, one of the first pieces of your estate plan to establish is your healthcare proxy. Your healthcare proxy, also known as your agent, will make decisions on your behalf when you cannot do so.

When would you need a healthcare proxy?

A healthcare proxy assigns someone you trust to make decisions for you when you're unable to do so yourself. As a healthy person, you might not see the need for this assignment, but the reality is that life is unpredictable. If you're in a car crash and are unconscious, for example, your proxy would be able to discuss your care with your medical providers and decide how they should move forward with treatment. You can also include your wishes regarding supportive care and life-saving treatments.

If you haven't started your estate plan, today's a good day to consider it. Our website has more on this and other important estate-planning topics.

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