The Millennial Generation is at the beginning of its adult life, and many Millennials are far more concerned about starting careers, buying homes, paying off college, and starting families than they are about planning their estates. Many believe that it’s too soon to start thinking about estate planning because they are young and healthy. At a bare minimum, even young adults should have a legally binding Power of Attorney, Health Care Surrogate Designation and a Last Will and Testament in place, and should have those documents reviewed periodically, because circumstances change over the course of a lifetime.

Plan Against The Unexpected

More than either their parents’ or grandparents’ generations, Millennials tend to prefer active and adventurous travel, often to more exotic locations. Before you head off to Bali for your trip of a lifetime, consider leaving travel insurance documentation in the hands of the person you want making emergency decisions for you, along with your power of attorney, health care surrogate designation, and a simple will. You never know when that diving trip may take a turn for the worse, and it’s better to have an unneeded plan than to have a problem and no plan in place.

Think About Your Pets

Financial assets aren’t the only things you need to plan ahead for, in case something happens to you. Do you have arrangements made for someone to take care of your pets if you’re incapacitated, or if you die unexpectedly? Does that caretaker have access to your home in case of an emergency? Do they know where to find your pet’s supplies and belongings, and where to reach your vet? Planning for the temporary or permanent care of your pets could make the difference between them living their lives out in a loving home and having them end up in a high-kill shelter if something were to happen to you.

What Happens To Your Digital Life?

Millennials have far greater digital presences than any previous generation. Because the development of legal standards regarding digital presences lag far behind the growth of those presences, it’s anything but clear what should be done with people’s social media accounts and websites when they die. It’s another perfect example of why Millennials need wills at an earlier age than their parents and grandparents ever did. Include an inventory of your accounts and sites in your estate plan, designate a caretaker, and make your wishes known. Certain media, like Facebook, allow you to appoint someone to take your account over in case of emergency, but others would require you telling your designee how to log in and what you want them to do with each account.

Items Of Sentimental Value

You may not be wealthy, but you probably have items that are rich in sentimental value that you’d like to go to people who will appreciate them, rather than a charity shop after you’re gone. You also don’t want friends and family squabbling over these things. It may seem silly to make an inventory of such things and list beneficiaries for them in a will, but you should. You might even consider working on a personal description of each item over time, so the eventual recipient will read in your own words why you consider the item a treasure and why you wanted them, in particular, to have it.

Millennials Need Wills & Estate Plans 

For people who are just starting out and don’t have major assets and complicated family ties, estate planning with an experienced attorney can be a surprisingly affordable step. The attorneys at Overstreet, Miles, Cumbie, Finkenbinder & Bondy can help you make your first will and estate plan, and review it for you as your life, finances, and family change in the future. Call or contact us online for a consultation. “Adulting” can be a challenge, but we can help you establish a solid estate plan for a firm foundation.

Preparing a will is important for Florida residents of all ages. When you’re planning to enter into a second marriage, or you’re already married for the second or subsequent time, thorough estate planning goes well beyond leaving a simple will, and it’s a critical step in ensuring that your assets are ultimately distributed as you intend.

Your Will May Not Be The Final Word Under Florida Law

While you may have given a great deal of thought and care in preparing your Last Will and Testament, and most people assume that that will be the end of any questions about distributing their assets after they die, there are some situations in which the law overrides your decisions. It’s critical to be aware of those potential issues and create a comprehensive estate plan that takes them into account.

The Florida Elective Share law says the surviving spouse is entitled to at least 30 percent of the estate of their deceased spouse, including their individually owned property, revocable trust, and share of any property jointly owned with a third party. The provisions of this law supersede any contradictory terms the decedent’s will may have included. While you may trust your spouse to set their right to make such a claim aside, and comply with the terms of your will, you should consider the fact that your surviving spouse may not be the one making the decisions in the future. If he or she is or becomes incapacitated, another person may be authorized to make an elective share claim against your estate on your surviving spouse’s behalf, even against that spouse’s wishes.

Florida law pertaining to homesteads may also override the terms of your will, in certain cases. Homestead law allows the homestead to be willed to a surviving spouse or minor child, but not to anyone else, if a spouse or minor child is still living. If your wish is to leave your homestead property to a parent, sibling, or anyone else, you’ll need additional estate planning measures to allow that bequest under the law.

Pre- And Post-Marital Agreements

Both pre-marital agreements and post-marital agreements are signed by both parties, and they provide a way for each spouse to arrange distribution of their estate assets as agreed, without running into situations where state law overrides their plans. It’s a common misconception that this type of arrangement and contract is only for wealthy people with large, complicated estates, but in fact, a pre- or post-marital agreement can make planning modest estates smoother and more secure, too.

Trusts And Mutual Wills

By coordinating the terms of their wills, and placing assets in a trust, couples can create a situation where each is assured that any children from previous marriages will be provided for as intended. This type of preparation reduces the chance that a surviving spouse might change their will after the first spouse dies, or that a situation might arise where state law would apply in a way that violates the terms the spouses agreed to.

Establish And Review Your Estate Plan 

Estate planning is not a one-and-done matter. If you’ve already begun your estate planning, it’s wise to have those plans reviewed periodically, and any time your desired bequests change. The attorneys at Overstreet, Miles, Cumbie, Finkenbinder & Bondy have decades of experience helping people with estates of all sizes plan for the future. Call or contact us online to schedule a consultation to get started on your estate planning, or a review of the plans you’ve already made.

Jennifer Bondy is a partner at Overstreet, Miles, Cumbie, Finkenbinder & Bondy, P.A. She earned her Juris Doctorate in 2013 from Stetson University College of Law and has focused the last six years of her career on the practice of residential and commercial real estate transactions, probate, and estate planning.

Mrs. Bondy puts her knowledge and experience to use representing her clients. “Often, clients come into my office intimidated by the paperwork in front of them. My goal with every client is to give them the knowledge to move forward with their legal matter with confidence,” she says.

In part, her success can be attributed to her dedication to community involvement. Mrs. Bondy currently serves as the Vice Chair of Legal Affairs for the Kissimmee/Osceola Chamber of Commerce and the 2019 Chairwoman of the Board for Community Vision. She is an active Rotarian at the Rotary Club of Kissimmee, a recipient of the Young Professionals of Osceola County’s 2018 Tomorrow’s Leaders Today award, and a 2017 graduate of Leadership Osceola.

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Mrs. Bondy is a wife and proud mother to her one-year-old son.

 

Power Of Women In Law-Jennifer Bondy

Osceola Woman Magazine’s – Power of Women in the Law Issue