When you turn 18, you are legally allowed to make an estate plan. You’re an adult in the eyes of the law and you can begin putting that plan in place.
However, if you ask most 18-year-olds if they have an estate plan, they’re going to tell you that they haven’t even thought about it yet. They might note that estate planning is for passing assets on to their children or future generations, and they have neither significant assets nor a family that expects to receive them.
But what this misses is the fact that estate planning can do far more than just divide assets between family members. This is why it’s important for even young people to think about it. You can still consider your future medical decisions and make a plan to be used if necessary.
A medical power of attorney
For instance, one way to do this is to use a medical power of attorney form and pick an agent. If you get injured and knocked unconscious in a car accident or in some other fashion where you can’t interact with the doctors, the agent can make your medical decisions for you.
Another option is simply to use an advance directive. There may be types of care that you know you don’t want, and you can list them here so that your medical team knows. This is beneficial, but it’s often better to use a power of attorney because then your agent can make the best possible decision based on all the known information.
But, no matter which one you choose, you can see how they’re helpful at any age. Make sure you know what steps to take.