Every adult should have an estate plan in place regardless of your age and regardless of your financial status. Far too many people procrastinate with regard to estate planning and you are in fact taking a big risk when you go through life without making the proper preparations for the inevitable.
There are a few basic estate plan essentials that everyone should have in place. One of these is some type of vehicle of asset transfer. The most commonly utilized instrument would be the last will, and you can certainly choose this option.
However, your estate must be probated if you use a last will and probate can slow things down and actually cost quite a bit of money. For this reason you may want to consider the utilization of a revocable living trust. These vehicles facilitate the transfer of assets outside of the probate process.
Incapacity planning is also called for, and this can be accomplished through the execution of documents called durable powers of attorney. You name attorneys-in-fact who would be empowered to make decisions in your behalf in the event of your incapacitation.
A living will is also important. With this document you record your preferences regarding the use of artificial means to keep you alive indefinitely if you were in a vegetative state that was deemed terminal by your physicians.
It is also a good idea to let your wishes be known with regard to final arrangements. This would include the choice of burial or cremation and your preferred type of memorial service.