For American baby boomers who have spent their lives feeling healthy and young, the need to begin estate planning has not really been a significant concern for many of them. Even if they have created a Will, Trust, or other estate planning device, a 2011 survey reveals that a majority have not created a Living Will or any other kind of Advance Medical Directive.
The survey found that 64% of people born between 1946 and 1964 do not have any kind of Living Will or health care proxy. Advance directives, such as Living Wills and Health Care proxies, allow people to state their medical choices in detail before an accident or illness makes it impossible for them to express their own desires. Though the laws about these directives differ between states, all states allow for some form of advance directive.
The reasons for this lack of planning are numerous, but many involve the feeling that many baby boomers have that they don’t feel as old as they actually are. Many people say that they work out, eat healthy and are in excellent health, and therefore they have no need for an Advance Medical Directive.
Estate planning attorneys generally recommend that all adults have some kind of Advanced Medical Directive. This is true even if you are in excellent health and are very young, as a medical emergency can arise at any time. If you are unprepared, failing to have the proper documentation can lead to significant problems.