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Young people should have living wills, estate plans

Many people graduate from high school, and head off to college. While their parents might not go off to college with them, many young adults heavily rely on their parents for advice and money. They also may ask their parents to weigh in on health care decisions as they could be on a parents insurance and might need guidance on certain issues.

Although there might be a close relationship between child and parents, and parents might even be providing for their children through insurance and other financial measures, they are not necessarily entitled to make decisions for their children. This includes decisions that might need to be made during emergencies, which makes estate planning for young people crucial.

If a young person ends up in the hospital and is incapacitated or unable to make decisions for themselves, they might want their parents to weigh in and make the best decision possible. The problem is, doctors might not know that a person wants their parents to make decisions, and won't allow parents to access health care information or make decisions. The same situation might apply for a person's finances if they aren't able to manage their accounts and financial responsibilities.

These unknown situations make it very important that even young adults have proper plans in place. Estate planning documents including living wills can help those in New Jersey let their wishes be known. Varying document language can help a person get very specific as to their wishes and the abilities of any power of attorney a person wishes to give to another person.

Source: NBC News, "Even young adults should start estate planning," Sheyna Steiner, May 6, 2013

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