Many people may not think about estate planning as young adults, perhaps believing they lack sufficient assets or feel they are young and nothing will happen to them. The truth is, you never know what tomorrow will bring and it is wise to start planning as soon as you turn 18. Growing up, your parents make most decisions for you in regards to finances and medical issues. But once you turn 18 your parents are no longer legally able to answer for you.
Who Can Make Decisions for You?
You may think that you lack any assets besides maybe a car and some clothes, but it is still critically important that you decide who would take charge if something were to happen to you.
Naming your parents as your agent, trustee or a similar fiduciary role will allow them to make decisions in regards to money or even your medical care in case you are unable to communicate how you want to be cared for medically. It is particularly important to create a medical directive for people of all ages, because if you should find yourself incapacitated from a car accident or other life threatening, decisions for your behalf may need to be made and who your decision makers should be must be clear.
Who Are Your Beneficiaries?
Young adults need to create Wills and name insurance beneficiaries, just like elder adults. Although you may not be worth millions yet, you still have items that you accumulated in your life that you might want to give to certain people. If the company you work for offers life insurance you may be able to leave a little money behind for loved ones.