Am I Too Young to Start Planning My Estate?

Adulthood and Estate Planning

Once you’ve turned 18 years old, you should consider the financial and legal responsibilities bestowed upon you. As a legal adult, many things change once you hit the age of 18 in the eyes of the law. Once you hit adulthood, the access your parents or guardians have to your medical and legal records is no longer automatic. Beginning to set initial plans and executing an estate plan as a young adult, can alleviate future headaches as you begin a career, expand investment portfolios, and have contingency plans and executors in the unlikely event of an emergency. As you grow older and attain more assets and wealth, you can easily revisit and update your current estate plan to reflect the evolvement of your life.

Appointing Decision Makers of Your Life

Although you may be able to stay on your parent’s health insurance plan until you turn 26, they no longer have the ability to access your medical records or make healthcare decisions on your behalf unless legally documented. Creating a Healthcare Proxy form legally allows you to choose a person who will take responsibility for your healthcare decisions in the event you are unable to do so yourself in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). When appointing a proxy, you should elaborately discuss your wishes and choose someone you trust to ensure your decisions are respected and executed.

What about choosing someone who can account for your financial matters in the event you are unable to do so? This is when you execute a power of attorney. You are able to delegate a financial agent to handle your business matters for a certain period of time or indefinitely, and you can set parameters on the matters in which they can act on your behalf. As you enter adulthood and potentially attend college, this person can assist with financial business in the event you have an emergency, are too busy, or unable conduct such manners due to location.

Creating a Last Will and Testament

The most commonly known part of estate planning is one’s will. Your will outlines the allocation of your assets in the event of your death. If you’ve just turned 18, you may be thinking I have no assets to allocate if I were to pass away? Your will can include designating what should be done to a variety of aspects of your life including who would take care of your pets, if you had any, what would happen to your social media accounts, who would inherit or receive your financial assets, and more. Your will is tailored to your specific life situation and desires in the event of your death. As you get older and accumulate more wealth and assets, it’s a good idea to revisit your will after making acquirements or transitions in your life to reflect those milestones. Once you’ve created a will, you should let important decision-makers in your life know where an updated and signed version of your will is in the event of an unexpected death so they can act quickly on your behalf.

How Can Legacy Trust Help

At Legacy Trust we are devoted to the financial education and execution of your life goals to establish and build the legacy you want to leave for generations to come. Whether you are just entering adulthood or well into your later years, we are happy to discuss and assist in the creation and implementation of your estate. When you’re ready, we’ll be here to guide you through every step.