Mortality is a fact of life, and no one in California will live forever. While this is an accepted fact, younger people tend to focus less on their mortality than those who may be middle aged or older. There is a certain feeling of perpetual immortality among the young. Sadly, this feeling has been dealt a mortal blow in the recent shootings at a concert in Las Vegas and a night club and high school in Florida, to name just a few of the mass shootings that have taken too many young lives. Many of those who lost their lives likely had no wills or other estate documents in place.
It is a sad fact that today’s young people, also known as millennials, may benefit from having a will, health care directive or other estate planning documents in place. Families who face the ultimate tragedy, having to bury a child, may have had to do so without knowing their young adult children’s wishes regarding end of life care, organ donation and other final wishes. In addition, most may not have access to bank accounts, social media passwords and other important pieces of information regarding their loved one’s everyday life.
In the face of such a tragedy, a parent may want to reach out to a child’s friends via social media or close down the account altogether. There are steps adult children can take to make an unthinkable tragedy just a little bit easier to bear. These steps can be taken as the beginning of a comprehensive estate plan and may include creating a will that will indicate who inherits one’s personal and financial assets as well as providing access to information for virtual assets such as music and social media accounts. In addition, a durable power of attorney and a health care proxy can relieve loved ones of having to make heart-wrenching decisions in a time of extreme grief.
In today’s turbulent world, no one is sure what tomorrow will bring. No one wants to believe that he or she may be among the next victims of the next mass shooting, but the reality is that there is no guarantee. Preparing for the worst by creating wills and other documents indicating one’s final wishes can be an invaluable gift to one’s loved ones during this holiday season in California.