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Turning 18? The Sides of the Table

The Celebrant

I am finally turning 18!. Whether the celebrations would go according to how I want it or not, one thing remains; I am now legally an adult. There are calls I would make by and for myself. I can even get to work and make some money on the side. Oh, I can have a certain control over my finances and decide what to do with what.

Yeah, it has its responsibilities, but it has its benefits as well. I can vote and participate in the critical decision of making progress for my country. I am a legally recognised adult!

The Parents

It still feels like just yesterday when I held his tiny hand on his first day of school. Now, he is standing tall, ready to take on the world. However, this milestone was more than just a birthday; it was a legal transformation into adulthood, bringing new challenges and opportunities.

  1. Appointing a Financial Power of Attorney

My wife and I wanted to ensure he was financially prepared as he approached adulthood. Hence, we sat down him down to explain the importance of a financial power of attorney. This document allows someone to manage financial matters on behalf of another, which can be crucial if he decides to study abroad or if an emergency arises.

We recalled the experience of a friend, whose son went abroad for studies. Without a financial power of attorney, they struggled to manage his bank accounts and financial obligations back home. Learning from this, he agreed to appoint his mother as his financial power of attorney, providing peace of mind for both of us.

  1. Creating a Trust for Future Security

One of the most significant steps we took was to establish a trust for him. A trust can help manage and protect assets, ensuring they are used according to specific wishes. This was particularly important for us, who wanted to ensure his inheritance was secure and managed wisely.

We discussed the many examples of inheritance being tied up in legal battles for years. Determined to avoid such a situation, we consulted with a multifamily office to set up a trust. This move not only secured our children’s future but also provided clear instructions on how his assets should be managed, whether for education, starting a business, or other significant expenses.

  1. Ordering a Credit Report

Identity theft is a growing concern, even in Nigeria. Before he could apply for loans or other financial products, we already commenced the process to obtain a credit report to check for any fraudulent activity. This step was crucial in ensuring that his financial history was clean, protecting him from future financial troubles.

  1. Encouraging Financial Responsibility

To prepare him for financial independence, we further reiterated the financial education he had been exposed to from age 8 including basics of managing money. We went over the practicality of budgeting, saving, and investing. My wife shared stories from her own experiences, emphasizing the importance of financial discipline. By teaching him these essential skills from the young age of 8, she hoped that a sense of responsibility and foresight would have been instilled.

  1. Understanding the Importance of Legal Advice

Thankfully, we latched on to the importance of professional guidance early. Engaging experts like a multifamily office provided invaluable support, ensuring all legal and financial steps were correctly and efficiently handled. This professional advice was instrumental in navigating the complexities of financial planning and legal documentation.

  1. Transitioning Family Business Responsibilities

In families with businesses, transitioning responsibilities is critical. We decided it was time for him to start learning about the family business. We gradually introduced him to various aspects of the business, from day-to-day operations to long-term strategic planning. This hands-on experience was vital in preparing him for future leadership.

Conclusion

As we watched Victor blow out the candles on his 18th birthday cake, I felt a mix of pride and relief. We had taken the necessary steps to ensure he was prepared for adulthood. Turning 18 is a significant milestone, signaling adulthood and the various responsibilities that come with it. Preparing in advance ensures that your child’s rights and assets are protected, allowing them to focus on the exciting opportunities ahead.

Engaging experts like a multifamily office can provide the necessary guidance and support, ensuring a smooth transition into this new phase of life.

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