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“Why can’t Mom and Dad just handle it for me?”

Do I need estate planning documents? What if I’m not married, am not done having kids, don’t have many assets, or don’t own a home?

Every adult should have some basic estate planning documents. The law states that you’re an adult once you reach the age of 18. When most of us turn 18, we don’t own a home or have substantial assets, so it may not be necessary to create a trust. But once you’re 18, mom and dad aren’t automatically allowed to make financial or health care decisions for you.  Below are estate planning documents that every adult should have.

Advance Health Care Directive

An Advance Health Care Directive allows your loved one to make medical decisions for you in the event you are unable to make them for yourself. You, not a court-appointed conservator of your person, should decide who should have this authority. You may designate your parents, partner, sibling or friend for this important role. Conflicts can, and will arise, if your intentions are not clear. The last thing you want is a fight between your loved ones following a medical situation that leaves you unable to communicate your wishes.

Durable Power of Attorney for Asset Management 

This document allows your trusted partner/friend/family member to handle your financial assets in the event you become unable to. Once you reach adulthood, you must designate someone to act on your behalf unless you want a court to appoint a conservator to manage your estate. Creating a Durable Power of Attorney also allows you to decide how much authority your Attorney-In-Fact should have to act on your behalf. This authority can include everything from dealing with your bank, to selling your home, to paying your bills. This document is critical for every adult, especially for those who have individual financial accounts.


A will designates who will manage your estate upon your death, to whom your estate should be distributed, and who shall be named guardian of any minor children.  A will is a useful document to clarify your wishes upon your death, whether or not you own a home or have any assets of significant value.

Whether you’re 18 and living with mom and dad, living with your long-term partner, or married with three properties and high-value financial accounts, there’s a plan for you.

Contact Kimberly Buchholz at [email protected] for a free consultation, or attend her next seminar at Herself Moms Sunday, September 10, 2017, at 9:00 A.M.

Visit for more information.

Kimberly Buchholz

Planning Attorney
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