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millennials estate planning

Why do Millennials need estate planning?

Estate Planning for Millennials.

Get on top of your estate planning, so you can get on with your life.

If you are a Millennial in your twenties or thirties, you may be wondering why you need an estate plan in the first place.  Estate planning is probably the last thing you are thinking about.  This is especially true if you are renting, don’t have kids, and don’t have a lot of belongings or assets to worry about. However, an estate plan covers much more than your belongings — it covers nearly every aspect of your life. While no one, Boomers included, likes to think about death or disability, planning ahead for these events is part of #adulting and can make life so much easier for yourself and your loved ones.

Why do Millennials need estate planning?

Although you may believe that estate planning is not necessary at this stage in life, you will be surprised to find out that it is more important than you think.

FINANCIAL POWER

If you have been with your partner for a long time and you trust them to make financial decsions for you if you are incapacitated or unexpectedly pass away, an estate plan gives them this legal power.

MEDICAL POWER

An estate plan can give the person whom you choose the legal power to make medical decisons for you, based on your wishes, in the event you are hospitalized or put on life support.

DIGITAL ASSETS

With an estate plan, millennials can protect their digital assets and designate who will be responsible for them in the future. These assets can include things like cryptocurrency, websites, social media accounts, intellectual property created and stored on the cloud, and photos and videos.

GUARDIANSHIP OF MINORS

If you have kids, they are likely minors. This leaves them vulnerable if you pass away, as they can be at the mercy of the court system. Make sure you have designated guardians in your estate plan to ensure your kids are cared for by those whom you trust.

GUARDIANSHIP OF PETS

Pets are property under the law. Yes, they are property!Without a legal plan for your pet, such as a designated guardian and caretaker, a cherished animal could end up with an unintended caregiver, in a shelter or euthanized.

BENEFICIARIES

If you own any belongings or assets – such as collectibles, artwork, jewelry, designer clothing, Air Jordans, Yeezys, Louboutins, Louis Vuitton bags, family heirlooms – you want to make sure the people you choose will get them when you’re gone. Likewise, if you have any amount of life insurance or retirement benefits, you want to properly name your partner, siblings, friends or parents as your beneficiary to ensure they receive your payout and it doesn’t go into the state’s unclaimed property coffers.

Now is the time to start planning.

You are mentally and physically capable of making an estate plan, right now.  Do not put it off until it is too late. You never know what the future holds, so it is entirely possible that you will be unable to properly make an estate plan years from now. Get ahead of the unexpected and design an estate plan while you are in good health, both mentally and physically. You can always revisit the plan in the future to make revisions and updates as life changes. If you pass away without an estate plan or, at minimum, a Last Will, your assets may go into Florida’s unclaimed property coffers (currently holding over $1 billion in unclaimed property).  Alternatively, your estate will go through the lengthy and costly probate process.  This is where the court will decide what happens to your things and can end up giving them away to the wrong people.

What makes up an estate plan?

Estate plans are not one size fits all.  Each plan is as unique as the person for whom the plan is designed. There are various documents that may be used together to make up an estate plan. However, there are more common documents that must be a part of a Millennial’s estate plan no matter your age, financial standing, or martial status.

LAST WILL & TESTAMENT

LIVING TRUST
POWER OF ATTORNEY
HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVES
GUARDIAN OF MINOR DESIGNATION
BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION

Estate planning for Millennials final tips.

I hope you thoughtfully read everything up to this point, and have a better understanding of why estate planning is important at this point in your life and what is needed in your plan. It cannot be understated that estate planning is a process that takes time and prep work. You cannot phone this one in. There’s no half-assing it. Pull up your big-person pants and get started today. The following final tips will help you stay on top of your estate planning from beginning to end, and ensure you do not miss anything important along the way.

Things to Organize

✓ Important health care information
✓ Bank account statements
✓ Physical property inventory
✓ Personal property inventory
✓ Digital asset inventory & access info
✓ Life Insurance policy & documents
✓ Retirement account documents
✓ Investment account & stocks
✓ Real property deeds and titles
✓ Mortgage statements
✓ Student loan documents
✓ Credit card & other debt documents
✓ Automobile, boat, RV title
✓ Self-owned business documents
✓ Human Wealth passages

Agent & Guardian Considerations

✓ Level of trust
✓ Location of person
✓ Age and life experience
✓ Qualifications
✓ Family dynamics

Documents to Prepare

✓ Last Will & Testament or Living Trust
✓ Power of Attorney
✓ Advance Health Care Directives
✓ Nomination of Guardian for Minor Children
✓ Beneficiary Designation forms

As life goes on, things will change. You might purchase a house, open a business, get married or divorced, have a kid (or more kids), open new investment accounts, obtain life insurance, receive a funded retirement plan from an employer, and/or receive an inheritance from a parent. No matter the life event, don’t forget to continually update your estate planning documents.  Make sure your Agent, guardian and beneficiary designations are up-to-date, and confirm that your trust (if you have one) is always properly funded. Working with an experienced estate planning lawyer is always a good idea to ensure that you and your family are protected now and in the future.

Read more related articles here:

Estate Planning for Millennials – How to Get Started

Demand for Estate Planning Booms Among Millennials

Also, read one of our previous Blogs at:

Estate Planning for Millennials: Your Ultimate Guide

Click here to check out our On Demand Video about Estate Planning.

Click here for a short informative video from our own Attorney Bill O’Leary.

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