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Does an 18-year-old need to think about estate planning?

| Nov 3, 2020 | Estate Planning

Yes. You may think you are too young, but these legal documents are about more than deciding who gets your money when you die. They outline who can make decisions for you when you are not physically present or mentally capable of making them yourself. 

Imagine you saved all through high school for a trip to Europe after graduation. Estate planning will give you peace of mind while you bungee jump in the Swiss Alps. 

Power of attorney

Deciding who can make legal decisions on your behalf is the best way to start estate planning. Will you need someone to pay your tuition bill or sign something for your new job before you get back? Who should have access to your bank accounts? Do you have a car loan or lease that might need attention? Having someone at home who can sign documents for you will allow you to relax and enjoy yourself. 

Living will and health care proxy

These documents detail what medical treatment you want to receive. Although trying snowboarding for the first time in Switzerland seems like a fun idea, the risk of an accident is high. If you end up with a concussion, or worse, doctors need to know which treatments are right for you. Do you want to be on a feeding tube or ventilator? Do you have religious beliefs that prohibit specific medical treatments? 

Developing these documents and reviewing them with your designees before your trip puts you in a better place to make youthful decisions. At the same time, you have a base to build on when you get a 401(k), buy a house and have children.