If you are over the age of 18, it’s time to look into beginning your estate planning process. Your will is an important aspect of your estate plan, and it is one that you should have in place as soon as you are 18.
Why do you need a will when you’re only 18? While you may be young, the reality is that you are a legal adult at 18. That means that your loved ones won’t be able to get your medical records if you are sick and hospitalized. They won’t have a say in your care, and they may have a hard time assisting you due to legal boundaries.
Set up your will when you become an adult
When you’re 18, it’s time to start your estate plan with your will. At a minimum, you should have the following documents in your estate plan as soon as you can:
- Your HIPAA release and a named party on that release
- Your organ donation form
- Your last will and testament
- Your choice of a health care power of attorney
- Your living will
- Your durable financial power of attorney
Since you’re so young, it is more likely that your estate planning needs will be minimal and inexpensive compared to those who wait to start estate planning later on in life. The nice thing about starting now is that you can choose to put together a basic plan while knowing that you can add on to it, and change it, later as needed.
Remember, young people own assets, too
Though it may not seem like you have much, you should remember that any of your assets can be passed on if you suddenly pass away. If you own a car or have money in the bank, all of that should be set up to go to a beneficiary upon your death.
Talking about death at such a young age might seem unusual, but the reality is that it’s always good to plan for it. A good estate plan could make a difference in your life if you’re injured or ill, too, since certain forms will protect you during your lifetime.