If you are like many people, you probably think only rich people need estate plans. While “rich people” do indeed need estate plans, so do you, regardless of the amount of wealth you possess. Why? Because without an estate plan, you have no way to control such things as the type of medical care you receive, who will inherit your property when you die, etc.

FindLaw explains that your estate plan can solve these problems and give you peace of mind, knowing that someone will carry out your wishes no matter what happens in the future.

Will

While numerous types of estate planning documents exist, a Last Will and Testament may be the only one you need, especially if you are a young unmarried person with no children and few assets. Your will states who you want to inherit which pieces of your property when you die. You can designate both individuals, such as your parents, siblings, friends, etc., and entities, such as your alma mater, favorite charity, etc. Your will also designates your executor, i.e., the person you want to take your state through probate when you die and ultimately distribute your assets per your specifications. Be sure to update your will anytime your status changes, such as when you marry, have children, etc.

Advance directive

Your wisest strategy consists of executing an advance directive, aka living will, medical power of attorney, etc., as well as a will. This document specifies which medical procedures and treatments you want and do not want if and when you become so ill, injured or otherwise incapacitated that you cannot make or verbalize those decisions for yourself. It also designates the person, called your attorney-in-fact, you want to carry out these instructions on your behalf. You should designate both a primary and secondary attorney-in-fact just in case your first-choice person cannot or will not assume this responsibility when the time arises.