You may not think that someone who just turned 18 years old needs an estate plan. However, you would be incorrect because estate planning is about more than protecting assets.
Once you turn 18, you become an adult in the eyes of the law, which can create many problems if something were to happen to you that makes you unable to make decisions for yourself or where you need someone to handle your business for you. The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel explains there are some specific considerations that make an estate plan imperative for everyone at age 18.
You should start your estate plan with a will. Even if you do not have any considerable assets, a will can clear up what you wish to happen should you die. It will ensure there is no family squabble over your last wishes.
Power of attorney
Signing a power of attorney can enable you to give your parents the ability to get medical information about you. It can assist them if you should need things such as your immunization records. If you do not give them legal permission, then you would have to handle gathering your medical records and taking care of all your medical needs on your own.
A medical directive allows you to legally appoint someone as a point of contact for your medical information. If you do not have this, doctors cannot share information about your health with anyone. If you were to end up in a serious health situation, it is helpful if your parents have the ability to get your health information.
At a minimum, make sure that you set these documents up in your estate plan. Keep in mind that you can always change them in the future, but having them in place right now is a good step.