Although older people in South Carolina might realize at some point that they need to make final arrangements for their estates, young people could also prevent many difficulties by completing an estate plan. They might consider death far off or their estates insignificant, but estate plans could reduce problems when accidents leave young people incapacitated.
By executing a durable power of attorney, a young adult could establish who will manage financial affairs. This could come into effect if the person suffers a catastrophic accident or is out of the country for an extended period of time. Similarly, an advanced medical directive would allow a person to express wishes concerning the use of life support. In addition to making formal statements about medical care, a person could choose someone to make medical decisions during a period of crisis. Without documentation about medical issues, a person might be kept alive in a persistent vegetative state.
In addition to considering incapacity, a young person could write a will that directs the distribution of personal assets. In the absence of a will, an untimely death would leave the person’s estate intestate and subject to state laws. In that situation, the law would determine who receives any assets.
Legal advice may help a person navigate the options and decisions necessary to complete an estate plan. An attorney might inform a person about which assets are controlled by beneficiary designations, like a life insurance plan, and which assets should be addressed within a will. Advice about how to select an executor or assign a power of attorney from an attorney might help a person make appropriate choices. After a person makes decisions, an attorney could write the necessary documents and recommend where to store them where family members can access them.