Many millennials believe that they don’t need to do estate planning. They think that they don’t have enough wealth or they’re too young. Actually, estate planning is important at every age, even if you’re just starting out and beginning to save.
Some common life events often prompt millennials to feel more urgency about their own estate planning include:
- Getting married.
- Having children.
- Buying a house.
- Making more money.
- A relative dying.
Let’s look at five reasons millennials should complete and execute their estate plan as soon as possible.
Providing for Your Children
As a parent, you want to raise them and make sure they can have a better life. But what happens when the parent dies? If you don’t have appropriate estate planning documents in place, the court will step in to handle their inheritance and decide who will raise your children. With the right Will in place, you can name a Guardian instead of relying on the courts to choose. Plus, you can make sure any inheritance for your child or children will be properly managed and used for them until they are old enough to do that themselves.
Some people think of their pets as children with fur. If you only have pets, you will want to ensure they are cared for too. You can put your choice of pet guardian in your estate plans too!
Protect Digital Assets
People often overlook the need to plan for their digital assets. Cryptocurrency and NFTs are examples of digital assets. You need to include them in your estate planning documents too.
It’s important to have a list of your crypto assets. Otherwise, no one may know you have them or how to access them, which could cause them to be lost forever.
Choose Your Own Health Care Advocate
Sadly, many people have car accidents or go through another health crisis that leaves them unable to make or communicate their own medical decisions. Everyone is at risk for this, regardless of age or how much money they have. An important part of estate planning is making sure you’ve put in writing in a way that is legally effective, to state your health care wishes and who would make medical decisions for you if you can’t someday.
Considering your own mortality is not pleasant. But taking these steps is critically important, to be better prepared if you don’t make the appropriate plans, medical personnel or the court system may take control of your decision-making.
Put Someone You Trust in Charge of Your Finances
Have you considered how your bills will be paid if you are injured or ill and unable to do that yourself? So many people think that their spouse, or child, or parent can step in automatically and handle that. Then they are surprised to find out that doesn’t work because the law requires a legally effective document called a Power of Attorney.
You should take the time to name in writing whom you would want to pay your bills and handle your finances if you can’t someday. Often that is a spouse, or child, or parent, and to make this effective you need your Power of Attorney signed and notarized. Remember too, that when you choose someone, you should discuss with them whether they will be willing to become your Agent.
This step is crucial for you and your family, to avoid major problems further down the road. If you don’t take care of assigning a financial power of attorney, the courts will choose someone for you. Your family will appreciate you taking this step in advance.
Decide What Kind of End-of-Life Care You Want
End-of-life care is probably the last thing you want to think about as a young person. But when an untimely accident happens, its important that your wishes are known. You want to be in control of the care you receive. Do you want doctors to use extreme measures to keep you alive? Do you want to donate your organs? Who should make your final arrangements and would you prefer to be buried or cremated? These aren’t easy things to think about.
As hard as these decisions are to make, it’s crucial that you make them. This is done through proper estate planning, which is a gift to yourself and your family to make things better if the unthinkable happens.
For that reason, it’s important to spell out your wishes in estate planning documents like a health care proxy, a living will, and your last will and testament.
Estate planning is not something that young people want to think about or discuss. However, it’s essential to give careful thought to your wishes, and to document what you want to see happen if you become incapacitated or die prematurely. Your family will be grateful that you made the decisions for them.