Despite widespread information about the importance of planning for the future, many adults in Colorado still do not have a will or other estate documents. People who are not married and do not have children may be some of the least likely to make an estate plan, and young people in general may see it as a task for the future. One survey found that 78 percent of millennials have not made a will. In many cases, people don’t want to think about death or complicated familial relationships.

However, by creating a will, an individual can decide how they want their estate to be handled after death and potentially save their loved ones time and money. When estate owners die without a will, they are considered intestate, which gives state law priority in determining the future of the assets. In most cases, the estates of unmarried people without children will pass to their parents. However, people may want to protect long-term partners or other close relationships who are not part of the state’s intestacy law.

Of course, an estate plan does not only mean a will. In fact, some other documents may actually be more important. A durable power of attorney can designate someone to handle financial matters in case the estate owner becomes incapacitated. An advance health care directive, on the other hand, defines an estate owner’s wishes for an end-of-life situation and names a person who can make decisions in case of incapacity.

In many cases, people have strong feelings about how they would want to handle a situation in which they are incapacitated. However, without creating the necessary documents, they may not be able to have their wishes followed. An estate planning lawyer can help a client create a plan that includes these key documents and helps to protect loved ones.