After getting their diplomas, high school graduates usually have a million and one things on their minds. However, for all of the items on their to-do lists, estate planning rarely makes an appearance. While young adults in Georgia rarely see the point of crafting an estate plan, putting necessary protections in place is an essential aspect of leaving adolescence behind.

Contrary to popular belief, estate planning encompasses much more than what happens to a person’s assets after his or her death. One of the most important aspects of estate planning is protecting a person’s interests and wishes in the event that the individual is unable to do so. For teenagers, parents have the legal right to make important medical decisions on their children’s behalf. Once they turn 18, parents usually cannot continue doing so.

A health care power of attorney is an important component of estate planning for newly minted adults. This document gives an individual the legal right to make important medical decisions on another person’s behalf should the person granting the power become incapacitated. This should be created in addition to a living will, which is a document that describes a person’s wishes regarding important medical treatments, like artificial feedings and resuscitation.

Creating a health care power of attorney, living will and a will can be sufficient for most young adults. However, because each person in Georgia is unique, there is no universal approach to estate planning. Individuals who are unsure of how to proceed may want to consider consulting with an experienced attorney on the matter.