Estate Planning is for Younger Generations Too – Four Core Documents in a Young Adult’s Estate Plan

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Estate planning isn't just for the elderly or the wealthy. Find out why young adults must start their estate planning early and what documents they should include.

Many young adults put off estate planning until they are older and wealthy, asking, “Why bother” with a will or a trust if my assets haven’t reached a high valuation? Young adults, especially those in their 20s and 30s, are wise to start their estate planning now. This guide walks you through the top four documents in a young adult’s estate plan. 

Why Do Young Adults Need an Estate Plan?

Forget the myths surrounding estate plans, which imply that estate planning is reserved or prudent only for the retired or affluent population. It is proactive for young adults in New Mexico to create an estate plan that protects their assets, no matter how modest, and empowers trusted individuals to act on their behalf in unforeseen circumstances. 

Unexpected and unfortunate events happen to people regardless of age, and having a plan in place will protect you when you can’t decide or act in your best interests. Whether it’s naming beneficiaries who inherit your belongings or a representative making medical decisions on your behalf, estate planning gives you peace of mind. As an experienced estate planning attorney in Las Cruces, Michele Ungvarsky can help young adults in New Mexico create an estate plan. 

The Documents Central to a Young Adult’s Estate Plan 

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney (POA) is an excellent addition to a young adult’s estate plan for flexibility. A POA is valid until it is canceled or updated or the person who established it dies. It grants a trusted representative authority over your financial affairs, such as paying bills, managing investments, or accessing bank accounts if you are mentally or physically incapacitated. Read about medical POAs for young adult travelers in our blog, Why Medical POAs Are Essential for Young Adult Travelers.

Health Care Directives

As the name implies, a health care directive authorizes a family member or friend to make medical decisions and oversee your medical care to communicate your wishes. These advance directives can be a living will, a durable healthcare POA, or a healthcare proxy. They include your decisions on medical treatments, organ donation, life-saving measures, and pain management. Advance directives if you cannot express your wishes, prevent delays in your medical care, prevent excluding a partner from decision-making for you, and avoid court intervention. 


Young adults with minor children should consider setting up a legal guardian or guardianship, appointing someone to take care of their children if they cannot. Guardianships include elderly parents, an adult child with special needs, or pets. A legal guardian provides what you did, such as a home, food, education, and emotional support.

Will and Last Testament

A will is a legal document that lists your assets and names the beneficiaries who receive your assets. It is typically the first step in any estate plan and can establish guardians for your children or pets.

Key Takeaways

  • Estate planning is not just for older people. It’s smart for young adults to start early.
  • If you have children, a guardianship appoints a trusted person to take care of your children for a home, food, education, and well-being. Guardianships are important if you have older parents, an adult child with special needs, or a pet. 
  • A durable POA allows someone you trust to make financial decisions and manage financial affairs for you.
  • A health care directive empowers someone to oversee your medical care according to your wishes when you cannot communicate them yourself.
  • Work with an experienced estate planning attorney to create a plan that suits your unique needs.

An Estate Planning Attorney to Guide Your Strategies  

Creating an estate plan can be complex. However, you don’t have to do it alone. Consult with an experienced estate planning attorney for strategies that work for you. If you’re ready to start your estate planning now, Request a discovery call with Las Cruces estate planning attorney, Michele Ungvarsky.