Four Personal Legal Documents Everyone in Their 40s Should Have

When you are in your 40s make sure that you have the appropriate and necessary legal documents prepared, just in case of emergency. While having these legal documents completed can sometimes be time-consuming and expensive, these documents are essential for you and your family. Many consumers put this off until it’s too late, but if you are in your 40s and don’t already have these documents in place, now’s the time to talk to a lawyer.

To find a lawyer, you may want to talk to friends and family to get a reference. When you talk to the lawyer, find out what fees you should expect to pay in advance. You and your spouse should have a private discussion prior to your meeting with the lawyer, to talk about the many decisions you’ll need to put in writing.

Last will and testament

A last will and testament explains to the courts how you want your assets divided when you pass away. If you have young children, you can also designate who you want to raise your children. 

Living will

A living will specifies what kind of medical treatments you would want (or not want) if you become incapacitated. There are general living wills you can complete, or you can choose to be very specific.

Health care proxy

A health care proxy designates someone else to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.

Power of attorney

A power of attorney allows you to designate someone else to execute legal documents on your behalf, if you are unable to execute them.

If you haven’t already created these essential documents, now is the right time to do so. If money is an issue, there are some great resources you can use if you’d like to create them yourself. Once complete, commit to reviewing the documents every few years to make sure all of the information in these documents is up to date.

  • MMI is proud to have achieved an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a nonprofit organization focused on promoting and improving marketplace trust. The BBB investigates charges of fraud against both consumers and businesses, sets standards for truthfulness in advertising, and evaluates the trustworthiness of businesses and charities, providing a score from A+ (highest) to F (lowest).
  • MMI is rated as “Excellent” (4.8/5) by reviewers on Trustpilot, a global, online consumer review platform dedicated to openness and transparency. Since 2007, Trustpilot has received over 116 million customer reviews for nearly 500,000 different websites and businesses. See what others are saying about the work we do.
  • MMI is a member of the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.
  • MMI is certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide consumer housing counseling. The mission of HUD is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD provides support services directly and through approved, local agencies like MMI.
  • MMI is proudly accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. COA’s thorough, peer-reviewed accreditation process is designed to ensure that organizations like MMI are providing the highest standard of service and support for clients and employees alike.
  • MMI is a longstanding member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), the nation’s largest nonprofit financial counseling organization. Founded in 1951, the NFCC’s mission is to promote financially responsible behavior and help member organizations like MMI deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.