The prospect of passing away is something that really doesn't cross the minds of people very often until they reach an advanced age. As a result, many individuals do not think that they need an estate plan until they reach their retirement years. It is true that the typical American lives into his or her late 70s, and in fact more and more people are living into their mid-80s and beyond. However, just because the majority of people live to see their senior years does not mean that everyone does. If you were to pass away before your time without having an estate plan in place you would probably be putting your family members in a very difficult position.
One thing to remember is the fact that the modern estate plan includes an incapacity component. If you were to become incapacitated and unable to communicate your decisions in real time with regard to things like being kept alive via the use of artificial life support systems if you were in a terminal condition, your next of kin would be faced with this decision.
This is clearly something that could be emotionally excruciating without knowing what you would do if you were capable of making your own choices. Family members could also disagree about the correct course of action, making an already devastating situation that much worse. If you simply take the time to create an estate plan that includes the appropriate advance health care directives you leave nothing to chance and record your wishes in a legally binding fashion.
People of all ages are victimized by accidents that render them incapacitated, and the fact is that younger people are more frequently involved in accidents than those who are older. Estate planning is not only about transferring assets, and it is not only for senior citizens. If you are a self-supporting adult in your own right you really should have an estate plan in place that includes advance health care directives for your own sake and for that of your loved ones.