A health care proxy is a legal document that describes the medical care you want to receive if you cannot make medical decisions due to an injury or illness. You may also use the planning document to designate an agent to make important medical decisions on your behalf.

If you are in your 20s, you probably have decades remaining in your life. Still, it is never too early to begin the estate planning process. Here are three reasons to have a health care proxy in your 20s.

1. Your good health may not last

Even if you eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly, good health is not a guarantee. A life-altering illness or tragic accident may sneak up on you.

If incapacitation renders you incapable of making medical decisions, you probably want the peace of mind that comes with advance health care planning.

2. You have your own opinions

Modern medicine provides a variety of means for treating medical conditions and extending the lives of patients. Some of these methods, though, are highly invasive and uncomfortable.

If you have strong opinions about the type of care you receive, you should memorialize them in a legal document while you can still communicate clearly.

3. You do not want to burden your family

While you now live away from your parents, you still love and respect your family members. If something happens to you, you may not want to burden those closest to you with difficult decisions.

By preparing a comprehensive health care directive, you outline your wishes in an unambiguous way. If you cannot make your own medical decisions, a health care proxy ensures family members and medical providers do not have to bicker about what you want.