When you turn 18, there are a lot of things that you have to think about. While you might be focused on having fun and enjoying some new found freedoms, you need to make sure that you are being responsible. There are several things that you have to think about here.
One of the things that you need to do is to make sure that you have an estate plan. Now, before you say “but I have a lot of years left on the planet!” you need to realize that there is more to estate planning than dictating who will get your belongings.
When you create an estate as a new adult, you should make sure that you include powers of attorney for health care and one for finances. These documents will give someone you appoint the power to make decisions for you if you become incapacitated.
You might also want to sign release information for your health records so that if something happens to you, your parents or another person you give permission to can find out updates about you if you are in an accident, have surgery or need other emergency medical care.
You should also think about what you want to happen to you from a medical standpoint if you can’t make decisions. For example, do you want heroic measures taken to save your life? Do you want to be placed on life support? Writing out a living will now can help to ensure that your wishes are clearly and legally conveyed.
As you think about all of this, you need to take steps to make sure that you are making all of these plans in a legal manner. You need to work with someone who is familiar with these matters to go over your situation and ensure that you have what you need.
Source: Financial Planning Association, “Do Young Adult Children Need Estate Planning Documents,” accessed Aug. 04, 2017