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Because a serious accident could affect any Maryland resident at any time, preparing for such an event could be beneficial. Though many young people may think that estate planning is only for retirees or other older individuals, creating a plan at a young age could be just as useful. In the event that a person is involved in an accident that leaves him or her incapacitated, having these plans in place and appointing a power of attorney may come as a relief.

Creating a living will can allow individuals to detail how they wish their medical care to be handled. Various topics can be addressed in this document, including whether a person should be kept on life support if the situation comes to that. Additionally, naming a health care proxy allows for a trusted and responsible person to be in charge of carrying out those medical decisions.

In addition to having someone make medical decisions, a durable power of attorney allows for the appointment of someone to make financial decisions. This person is often in charge of ensuring bills are paid, taxes are filed, checks are deposited, and he or she can take care of other financial affairs. As with the health care proxy, it is important that a trusted and responsible party is appointed to handle finances. 

If a power of attorney is not designated and an individual becomes incapacitated, complications regarding decisions could arise. Therefore, even young Maryland residents will likely want to ensure that they are comfortable with the person in charge of making decisions should they become unable to do so due to an accident or other sudden event. Information on how to properly file these forms and create a thorough estate plan could help interested individuals get started.

Source: nerdwallet.com, "2 Estate-Planning Documents Millennials Need", Rachel Podnos, March 3, 2016

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