Oregon Young Adult Estate Plan

What is an Oregon Young Adult Estate Plan and who needs it? At the age of 18, estate planning was not the last thing on my mind because it wasn't even that high on the list. To be young and invincible. Heck, now passing 40 years old I still feel invincible.

Invincible or not, once you turn 18 the State of Oregon considers you an adult (well except when it comes to purchasing and consuming alcohol). Along with the rights your upgraded adult status grants you, you also get new liabilities.

So what do your new right and liabilities have to do with estate planning? Plenty. As a newly minted adult, you don't need a full blown, all the bells and whistles, estate plan. You need an Oregon Young Adult Estate Plan that protects those rights and makes sure liabilities are handled.

Oregon Young Adult Estate Plan Contents

1. Advanced Directive

One of your new rights is making your own decisions for the medical treatment you want and the treatment you don't want. Your Advance Directive is where you can make those decisions before they are needed. You are also able to appoint a healthcare agent that you know and trust to make other healthcare decisions for you. Hopefully, you will never need your Advance Directive. However, having one prepared will give you and your family the peace of mind that your wishes are known and will be followed.

2. HIPAA Authorization (Medical Records Release Authorization)

Another right you've gained is greater protection of your medical records. That's fantastic, right? It is until you are in need of others' help with your medical decisions, or in the event you are unable to communicate with your loved ones about your condition. Oregon law allows your healthcare professionals to share your medical information with family if you are unable to consent. However, the law only allows them to share the information, it does not require them to do so. With a properly executed HIPAA Authorization, the people you choose will have access to your medical records if you are hurt and unable to communicate.

3. Durable Power of Attorney

As an adult, you are now free to contract with other adults and companies. Many of the contracts you enter into are those new liabilities I mentioned earlier. Your contracts can and probably will include, renting a place to live, utilities, bank accounts, car loans, other loans, credit cards, cell phone, etc. To protect you, you are the only person that the people and companies you contract with are allowed to communicate with about your contracts. What if you are unable to communicate? What if you are laid up in a hospital for weeks? How will your bills get paid?

That is where your Durable Power of Attorney and the agent you appoint can step in and handle everything for you. Your Durable Power of Attorney gives your agent the ability to communicate with the people and companies you have contracted with. It also gives your agent the power to act in your place to make sure your liabilities are taken care of.

4. Will

Though you feel invincible, the sad fact is that you aren't. You might not have much yet, however, what you do have should go to the people you choose. If you were to die unexpectedly your Will sets forth who gets what. 

More importantly, if you are a parent, your Will is where you name guardians for your children. Without a Will naming guardians, the choice is left to a judge.

That's An Oregon Young Adult Estate Plan In A Nutshell

You might think to yourself that this is out of your price range or something only old people need.

First, if you are 18 years old or older, you do need the protection of an Oregon Young Adult Estate Plan.

Second, you can afford it. I strongly feel that every young person should have this type of planning in place, and I've worked hard to make it affordable. If you are 18 to 26 years old and have less than $100,000.00 in assets, the Oregon Young Adult Estate Plan is $500.00 for an individual and $800.00 for a married couple.

Pick up the phone, call me at 503-850-8345, or schedule a complimentary strategy session to get your plan in action.

Photo: Happy 18th Birthday - Nick Webb - CC BY 2.0