Part I of a two-part piece looking at the most important estate planning documents for young professionals.

California estate planning for young professionals?  Perhaps nothing about the word “young” makes you think of the need for estate planning.  The truth is, however, that those folks who have recently graduated from school and into the world of the professional should absolutely start their estate planning as early as possible.  Of course, one of an Orange County estate planning lawyer’s long-term concerns is to help you plan for death or incapacity, but there are other, more pressing concerns that the young professional should deal with now.

Beneficiary Designations

You’ve finally landed your first professional job…and it comes with a retirement plan!  Congratulations.  Not only is this a great step toward your future, but it’s also one of your first opportunities to think about what it will really look like.  When you set up that 401k or IRA, you will want to designate a beneficiary.  If you were to pass away, who would receive the funds you put aside?  An Orange County estate planning lawyer can offer advice on how to choose the right beneficiaries so that your funds are maximized for those left behind.

Financial Power of Attorney

If you’re a new professional, there’s a pretty good chance you’re not exactly rolling in money.  It’s more likely that you’re swimming in debt.  Without a vast fortune to manage, it might seem like you don’t have need for an estate planning lawyer, and certainly not for something called a “financial” power of attorney, right?


A financial power of attorney is hugely important should you find yourself seriously ill or injured.  If you were in a car accident, for example, and unable to write a check for your car payment, homeowner’s association dues, or student loan installment, things could get out of hand far too quickly.  A financial power of attorney is a legal document where you are able to name an agent to act for you when it comes to money.  This person will be able to make sure the electricity bill gets paid so you don’t leave the hospital and go home to a dark, cold house.

Medical Power of Attorney

A new, young professional can feel invincible, but we all know that the unexpected can happen.  As in the example above, a car accident could leave you unable to make your own medical decisions for a time.  How do you know that you will get the care you would want?  By having an Orange County estate  planning lawyer draw up a medical power of attorney.

This legal document is used to name the person in charge of making your medical decisions if you are incapacitated.  You might think that your parents automatically have medical authority but they do not; once you turn 18 your parents would not have any authority and would not even be able to speak to your doctors unless you have the proper legal documents prepared. You can include instructions that provide direction to the named party, but your estate planning lawyer will also advise you to have a good conversation with that person to ensure they are clear on what your wishes are.

Planning Now For a Secure Tomorrow

As a young professional, your future is bright and opportunity at your fingertips.  Whether your goal is to start a business, climb the corporate ladder or make your mark serving the nation or local community, solid estate planning now can help ensure that your ducks are in a row for a secure and prosperous tomorrow.  Don’t wait to talk to an estate planning professional in Newport Beach to learn how to create an estate plan that meets your needs through all of life’s twists, turns and transitions.