signThere comes a day in every single person’s life when they realize the truth they have grown up. They are an adult. A full-blow true adult. And with that fact, comes responsibility bills, taxes, jobs. If you are lucky, then you probably have a handle on most of these things by the time you are in your late twenties or early thirties. However, I can almost guarantee you that there is one grown up responsibility that you do not have fully in order and that is your legal documents.

None of us want to think about it, but at some point in your life, there will be an emergency. Something may happen to you or your loved one. If you do not have the proper documents in place, and written the proper way, then you may be in trouble. There have been way too many stories of significant others not being able to make decisions for their partners because they never got the right document filled out. These are just extra stresses during already very stressful and painful times. Protect yourself and your loved ones from going through these experiences by having the right documents in place.

So what are the right documents? There is a handful that every person should truly have. First is the living will and the second is the health care proxy. The living will states what you would want done for you healthcare wise if you were to be unable to communicate your desires for your treatment. The health care proxy gives another person the ability to make your health care decisions for you, if you were unable to do so.

Next of course is your will itself. If you do not have a will stating what you want to become of your possessions when you pass away, the state in which you live will decide for you. You also want to have a durable power of attorney, which allows someone to make financial and legal choices for you if you are incapacitated. These if very useful to have in case you are injured and you have something important pending like a real estate deal. Another good document to have is an estate plan. If you plan out your estate properly, you can ensure that your loved ones are able to get the most from your estate while paying the little amount of taxes and fees.

The sixth important legal document you need is homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. If you own home that is mortgaged, then you probably have homeowner’s insurance, as your mortgage company will require it. However, if you are renting an apartment, the odds are pretty good that you do not have renter’s insurance. Remember, damage to your property within an apartment is usually not covered by the landlord, so consider renter’s insurance.

There are other documents that could be considered important for most adults, like credit reports and retirement plans, but the above-mentioned documents are truly the most important when ensuring that you and your loved ones are secure during an emergency situation.